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Pak releases Indian fishermen who have completed jail terms

Last updated on: September 08, 2012 21:13 IST

Pakistan on Saturday released all Indian fishermen who have completed their jail terms as a goodwill gesture for External Affairs Minister S M Krishna's visit to Islamabad.

"All Indian fishermen who have completed their jail term have been released as a goodwill gesture for Krishna's visit," Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik said after signing the new liberalised visa agreement with the Indian minister.

He said the visa agreement was signed as a "gesture of friendship".

"We have liberalised most of the things. It is a very significant move," he said.

Speaking on the issue of terror, Malik said more cooperation was needed between the two countries to tackle the threat from the sea route.

"There was need to have more cooperation, but if we could have stopped sea-borne terrorists, we would have stopped the terror here also," he said, asserting that terrorists have no religion.

His remarks came on a day when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh pitched for a comprehensive maritime policy to maintain vigil along the Indian coastal line.

"There are also indications about terrorist groups maintaining their ability to use the sea route. Vigilance, therefore, needs to be exercised not only on our land borders but along the coast line as well," Dr Singh said during his 15-minute speech at a meeting of top Indian police officers in New Delhi on Saturday.

Earlier, on August 15, Pakistan had freed 55 Indian fishermen as a "goodwill gesture" on the occasion of India's Independence Day.

The fishermen from both countries are routinely arrested by maritime security forces after they cross into each other's territorial waters.

The fishermen claim they stray into each other's waters as there is no clear divide between the two countries in the Arabian Sea.

Priyanka Tikoo
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