Pakistan’s release of the latest batch of 60 Indian prisoners on Sunday takes the number of such prisoners released as part of a goodwill gesture to 360 in April.
The freed prisoners included 65-year-old Musharraf from Kolkatta who had been imprisoned in Pakistan for the past 20 years.
The released prisoners were taken to the Karachi Cantonment Railway Station under tight security, to board the Allama Iqbal Express for Lahore. They will be handed over to Indian authorities at Wagah border, then despatched to the Gujarat coast.
Rights activists have been calling for India and Pakistan maritime agencies to confiscate the catch and let the fishermen go without arresting and detaining them.
They have also been demanding for the boats to be released rather than confiscated and left to rot in the harbour of the other country.
Thirdly, cross-border fishermen prisoners should be returned to their home countries via a more direct route – Karachi-Mumbai – rather than sending them all the way up- and down-country.
Photos: Indian fishermen at Karachi Cantonment Station on Sunday, with members of Edhi Foundation facilitating their departure.