The Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA) on Monday arrested at least 30 Indian fishermen near the international maritime boundary in the Arabian Sea. The fishermen, who hail from Gujarat, were apprehended for allegedly straying into the Pakistan’s territorial waters.
A Porbandar-based National Fishworkers' Forum (NFF) secretary Manish Lodhari said that beside 30 fishermen, the PMSA also seized six fishing boats. "Thirty fishermen on board six boats were apprehended by PMSA near IMBL early today morning alleging that our fishermen had ventured into the Pakistan side during fishing," Lodhari said.
"They will now be taken to Karachi port. All these boats had ventured into sea a few days ago from Porbandar harbour" he added. Lodhari also claimed that Pakistani agencies were capturing Indian fishermen at regular intervals near the IMBL.
Last month, Pakistan had released 100 Indian fishermen as a goodwill gesture. Notably, the fishermen were released as part of the first batch of 360 Indian prisoners Pakistan has promised to set free in four phases. While the second batch of 100 Indian fishermen was released on the 15th April, another 100 fishermen were released on 22nd April. The rest were released on April 29. Pakistan-based Edhi Foundation helped the Indian fishermen after their release by giving them cash in Indian currency and two sets of garments for their journey back home.
In the month of December last year, Minister of State at the External Affairs Ministry V K Singh had informed Lok Sabha that a total of 500 Indian fishermen are languishing in various jails of Pakistan and Sri Lanka. “Altogether 482 fishermen are languishing in Pakistani jails while 18 are in custody in Sri Lanka. Pakistan has also seized 1050 boats while 10 boats are in Sri Lanka custody,” he had said.
It is to be noted that Pakistan and India regularly arrest each other's fishermen who inadvertently enter into their waters due to an absence of any proper technology to confirm the coastline border between the two countries near Sir Creek in the Arabian Sea.