Pakistan arrests 31 Indian fishermen

 Pakistani authorities have arrested 31 Indian fishermen and seized 14 boats for allegedly violating the country's maritime boundary, an official said today.

The fishermen were detained by the Maritime Security Agency (MSA) during routine patrolling yesterday, a spokesman for the agency said.

Fourteen Indian boats with 31 crew members were "apprehended for poaching well inside Pakistani waters (approximately 110 nautical miles)", he said.

The Indian fishermen allegedly continued to intrude into Pakistan's marine-rich Indus delta region "at the cost of livelihood of local fishermen", he claimed.

The MSA handed over the fishermen to police in Karachi for further investigation.
India and Pakistan arrest hundreds of fishermen every year on charges of violating their maritime boundary.

In a single sweep last year, the MSA arrested 122 Indian fishermen and seized 23 fishing boats on charges of poaching.

The two countries have taken steps in recent months to expedite the release of fishermen who have completed their jail terms.

Earlier this month, Pakistan freed 179 Indian fishermen who had completed their sentences. Another 360 Indian prisoners, mostly fishermen, remain in jail.

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