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Pakistan frees 101 Indian fishermen

November 25, 2008 17:16 IST

Pakistan on Tuesday released 101 Indian prisoners, mostly fishermen, as a goodwill gesture as the crucial meeting between the home secretaries of the countries got underway today, which is likely to focus on setting up a mechanism to deal with the detainees.

 

As talks between Indian Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta and his Pakistani counterpart Syed Kamal Shah began in Islamabad [Images], authorities freed 99 Indian fishermen from a jail in the southern port city of Karachi and two other prisoners from another jail in Karachi.

 

The fishermen, arrested between 2002 and 2006, were put on two buses that would take them to Lahore [Images], for passage back home through the Wagah land border tomorrow, officials said. Interior ministry chief Rehman Malik had, earlier, asked India to reciprocate the gesture.

 

He claimed hundreds of Pakistanis were languishing in Indian prisons and should be freed at the earliest. According to leading Pakistani rights activist Ansar Burney, the two Indian prisoners being released had completed their prison terms.

 

"There are many other Indian prisoners who have completed their sentences but are still in jail. I have also taken up their case with the authorities," he said.

 

India recently freed 29 Pakistani prisoners who had completed their jail terms.

 

 




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