When Indian cricket team was cheered from across the border

When Indian cricket team was cheered from across the border

On March 30, jail authorities in Pakistan made special arrangements for screening of the match on a large screen following which about 300 Indian fishermen and 900 Pakistani prisoners sat together to watch the memorable semifinal in Mohali, said several of the Indian fishermen, who were released from jail as part of cricket diplomacy by Pakistan.

"It was the most exciting and memorable moment ever spent by me while languishing in the Pakistani jail non- humanitarian and unhygienic conditions," Karsan Kana, a fisherman from Vasar village of Kodinar taluka who spent a little less two years in prison, told PTI.

"The Indian fishermen were given Indian tricolours and Pakistani prisoners their national flags for cheering their teams," said Balu, another released prisoner. The meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counter-part Yousuf Raza Gilani during the match gave us a ray of hope about our release, said Govind.

Prisoners from both the countries watched the match together and also prayed for our release and normalising of ties between the two countries, he added. The fishermen felt that both the Indian and Pakistani governments must take a lenient view of the fishermen straying inadvertently as they are not criminals and are just trying to earn a livelihood.

Eighty-nine Indian fishermen, mostly from Gujarat , Diu and Daman, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Bihar, freed from prison by Pakistan were repatriated across the Wagah land border last week. India had earlier in the week released 39 Pakistani prisoners.

 

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