India repatriates 88 Pakistani fishermen

India repatriates 88 Pakistani fishermen

In a goodwill gesture, India today repatriated 88 Pakistani fishermen from the Attari/Wagah border here.

The fishermen had passed into Indian waters in Arabian Sea and were held by the Indian coast guards for illegal fishing.

Today, they crossed over to Pakistan through the land transit route of Attari/Wagah border on the basis of 'Emergency Travel Certificate' issued by the Delhi based Pakistan High Commission.

On Thursday, India had announced that it would release 88 Pakistani fishermen over the weekend in a "goodwill" gesture after Prime Minister Narendra Modi conveyed the decision to his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif earlier this week.

The Centre was awaiting for the "exit documents" from Pakistani High Commission, official sources said.

In a telephonic call to Sharif on Tuesday, Modi extended Ramzan wishes and conveyed to him his decision to release detained Pakistani fishermen on this pious occasion.

"The fishermen released will be able to be with their families to observe this blessed month," Modi had said while conveying his decision to Sharif.

Modi had also noted that there was a need for having "peaceful" and "friendly" bilateral ties between India and Pakistan.

India's gesture comes in the backdrop of a war of words with Pakistan over Modi's critical remarks about Pakistan during his Dhaka visit recently and in the wake of India's military action in Myanmar.

On June 19, Pakistani authorities had handed over 113 Indian fishermen, who spent nine months behind bars, to India's BSF at the Wagah Border, a day after Pakistan said it would release them in a goodwill gesture.

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