Activists Seek Release of Indian, Pak Fishermen, Boats

Activists Seek Release of Indian, Pak Fishermen, Boats
Noted social activists from India and Pakistan have expressed concerns over the "continuous arrests of fishermen and confiscation of their boats, by each country."

"We express deep concern regarding the continuous arrests of Indian and Pakistani fishermen and confiscation of their boats by each country. The poor, innocent fishermen go to sea to catch fish and in the deep sea it becomes virtually impossible for them to recognise, where their country's waters end and other's start," they said.

The fishing season has begun a couple of days ago and boats in big numbers go to the mid-sea to catch fish and earn some money, the activists pointed out.

"Both the governments need to recognise the fact that these traditional fishermen go to the mid-sea for their livelihood. Arresting them and confiscating their boats means depriving their families of the livelihood, and causing them extreme distress," they said.

The activists, in a statement released here, pointed out that in the last few days, Pakistan's Marine Security Agency (MSA) has arrested around 100 Indian fishermen and confiscated 10 boats.

"Over 520 Indian boats are lying in Pakistan and around 230 Pakistani boats are in India. We appeal to both the governments to release all the fishermen and release their boats as a gesture of goodwill. The issue of fishermen needs to be seen from the humanitarian and not from security angle," they said.

Those, who signed the statement, include senior journalist Kuldip Nayar, film-maker Mahesh Bhatt, senior journalist Jatin Desai and Pakistani trade union leader and peace activist Karamat Ali.
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