NEW DELHI, Dec. 25 (UPI) – Pakistan has released 220 Indian fishermen from jail, officials said Sunday.
Last year, the Indian nationals were accused of entering Pakistani waters in an area of the Arabian Sea where the border is unclear.
The nation plans to release another 219 Indian fishermen on Jan. 5, Pakistan officials said.
The freed fishermen were sent to Karachi’s Cantt Railway Station from Malir District Jail and then handed over to the Indian authorities at Wagah Border in Lahore.
Dec. 25 is the birthday of Pakistan’s founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
During a joint news conference in Karachi, Pakistan, Labor leaders, civil society and human rights activists said they hope the gesture will be reciprocated by India.
Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum Chairman Muhammad Ali Shah said 17 Pakistani fishermen have been in Indian jails for more than 17 years. National Labor Council Secretary Karamat Ali said 156 Pakistani fishermen are in jail, including 13 children.
Conversely, 513 Indian fishermen are incarcerated in Pakistani jails, Ali said.