Attari : The Pakistani government today repatriated 220 fishermen to India.
The fishermen, taken in as prisoners in Pakistan for fishing in that country’s territorial waters, crossed over to the Indian side through the land transit route of Attari/Wagah border on the basis of emergency travel certificates issued by the Indian High Commission in Islamabad.
They were arrested a year ago when their boats slipped through to Pakistani waters in the Arabian Sea. They were caught by the Pakistani coastguards for illegal fishing while violating that country’s territorial waters.
The border between the two countries in the Arabian Sea is apparently not clearly marked, often causing confusion among fishermen.
Immediately after their repatriation, medical tests were conducted on the fishermen by a team of Indian doctors, officials said.
After crossing over to the Indian side, the fishermen kissed the soil.
They were freed from a Karachi jail yesterday and they arrived at Lahore by train.
One of the fishermen said it was very difficult to identify territorial waters in the Arabian Sea since the colour of the water on both the Indian and the Pakistani sides was the same.
The fishermen were visibly tensed as their boats have not been released by the Pakistani coastguards.