New Delhi: The arrest of 122 Indian fishermen by the Pakistani authorities on charges of poaching in the country's territorial waters on Wednesday night, has stirred up a hornet’s nest in the Indian Government. 

The situation is more worrisome as the fresh proceedings by the Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA) have taken the total number of Indian fishermen in Pakistan custody to 150 in November.

The government is rushed into action to liberate them from the neighbouring country’s custody.
Sources in the Foreign Ministry said, the Indian High Commission in Islamabad has started establishing talks with the Pakistani officials regarding the release of the fishermen.

The foremost aim of the Ministry is to validate the identity of these fishermen. Once their identities are confirmed, the government will negotiate with the Pakistan government for their release at diplomatic level.

“The improved diplomatic relations between both the countries will definitely help in this regard,” sources said.

PMSA had arrested 122 Indian fishermen and seized 23 fishing boats on Wednesday night on charges of intruding into the Indus delta region under Pakistan’s occupancy for catching high-quality fish.

The officials alleged that the Indian fishing boats were found 80 nautical miles inside Pakistani waters.
The Indian fishermen were handed over to Docks Police in the port city of Karachi for further action, the PMSA spokesman said.

India and Pakistan detain hundreds of fishermen every year on charges of violating the maritime boundary.

Earlier, in November this year, the Pakistani authorities have arrested 27 Indian fishermen.
The two countries have taken steps in recent months to expedite the release of fishermen who have completed their jail terms. The solution to the major issue of arrests of innocent fishermen of both the countries were among the top most agenda during the visit of Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar in July this year.

JPN/Bureau