India, Pakistan release fishermen ahead of Ramadan

New Delhi/Islamabad: India on Thursday released 88 Pakistani fishermen, while Pakistan released 113 Indians as a goodwill gesture ahead of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

India released the Pakistani fishermen following an announcement by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a source told IANS in New Delhi.

The release by Pakistan also came on a directive of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in the wake of the announcement by Narenda Modi.

The Indian fishermen, who were kept in Karachi's Malir jail for nine months to a year, were put on a train bound for the eastern border city of Lahore from where they will return to their home country, Dunya News reported.

Earlier, Modi also conveyed the decision of the Indian government to release detained Pakistani fishermen. He said the fishermen would be able to be with their families to observe this blessed month.

In a tweet, Modi said: "Also conveyed to PM Sharif our decision to release detained Pakistani fishermen on this pious occasion."

Fishermen are frequently arrested along with their boats by both India and Pakistan as the maritime boundary in the Arabian Sea is poorly defined, and many fishing boats lack the technology needed to be certain of their precise location.

Both countries also use the release of fishermen to express goodwill from time to time.

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