Karachi: Pakistan’s maritime authorities on Wednesday arrested 30 Indian fishermen for allegedly fishing in the country’s territorial waters, bringing the total number of Indian fishermen detained this year to 304.
A spokesman for the Pakistan’s Maritime Security Agency (PMSA) said that 30 Indian fishermen were detained and their five boats were seized. The detained fishermen were later handed over to the docks police for further legal procedures. The Indian fishermen will be presented before a judicial magistrate on Thursday and then sent to jail. The latest arrests come at a time when tensions between the two countries are escalating over various issues.
Wednesday’s arrests come just one week after the PMSA had on 27 April detained 29 Indian fishermen and seized five boats. In March, the PMSA had twice apprehended Indian fishermen. On 26 March, the PMSA had arrested 100 Indian fishermen and seized 19 boats while in early March some 85 Indian fishermen were arrested and sent to jail.
On January 27, the PMSA had arrested 60 Indian fishermen and seized 10 boats. The arrests of fishermen have continued this year even though Pakistan released some 219 Indian fishermen as a goodwill gesture on 5 January and before that released another batch of 220 Indian fishermen on 25 December.
Fishermen from both countries are arrested frequently by the maritime security agencies of both countries for illegal fishing and often stray into illegal waters due to absence of any proper technology to confirm the coastline border between Pakistan and India near Sir Creek in the Arabian Sea.