Pakistan-India Peoples’ Forum for Peace and Democracy (PIPFPD)
December 22, 2016
Pakistan-India Peoples’ Forum for Peace and Democracy (PIPFPD) welcomes the decision of Pakistan government to release 439 arrested Indian fishermen in two batches. A batch of 220 fishermen will be released on 25th December and a batch of 219 on 5th January 2017. The good will gesture will go a long way in strengthening relations between two countries.
The release is also important as there is no bilateral talk and there is complete pause on the dialogue. We demand that Indian government must reciprocate by releasing Pakistani fishermen from Indian prisons.
As of today, there are 516 Indian fishermen in Pakistan’s Karachi prison and around 80 Pakistani fishermen in various prisons in Gujarat, India. Fishermen from Saurashtra, Gujarat and Diu have no option but to go towards Pakistan to catch fish and survive. We have been demanding that India and Pakistan must release all the fishermen from their custody.
The India-Pakistan Judicial Committee on Prisoners, consisting of retired judges of higher judiciaries, set up by both the government in 2008 needs to meet urgently. The committee used to meet regularly every six months but have not met since BJP led government came into power.
We also demand that Pakistan should release 22 boats of Indian fishermen as agreed earlier. Both the countries should release confiscated fishing boats which are in a position to sail with some repairs. The boats are the only source of livelihood for fishermen of India and Pakistan.
We are also demanding both the countries to pursue No Arrest Policy in case of fishermen.
Jatin Desai (General Secretary, PIPFPD India )
For further details contact: pipfpd.india[at]gmail.com | 09869077718