India hands over 12 Pakistani fishermen

India hands over 12 Pakistani fishermen

The fishermen were detained for allegedly violating India's maritime boundary while the teenagers were captured for mistakenly crossing the land border. The prisoners were freed after serving prison sentences of up to five years.

While the 10 fishermen were released from a Gujarat jail, two Pakistanis were released in Jammu and Kashmir and one each in Maharashtra and Punjab. The fishermen were later handed over to Edhi Foundation, a leading NGO, which sent them to its facility in Lahore.

They would be sent home after verification of their addresses, a representative of the Edhi Foundation said. In a separate development, five Pakistani fishermen, who were being held in Mumbai after being freed from the captivity of Somali pirates, reached Karachi today.

They were freed by Indian authorities earlier in the day. The fishermen were accorded a warm welcome by a large number of people on their arrival at the Karachi airport.
Leading Pakistani rights activist Ansar Burney described the release of the fishermen as a positive step. The five fishermen were rescued from Somali pirates by the Indian Navy in March.

They were held in Mumbai due to delays in completing diplomatic formalities for their repatriation.

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