Day after swearing in, Imran Khan to release 27 Indian prisoners
The fishermen, mostly from Gujarat and Diu, had strayed into Pak waters and will be handed over to the CRPF at Wagah border
Imran Khan is all set to begin his maiden innings as the Pakistan Prime Minister on a positive note, at least as far as Indo-Pak relations are concerned. The PM-elect has decided to release 27 Indian fishermen from Pakistan prisons a day after his swearing-in ceremony, which is on August 11.
A letter exchanged between Pakistani and Indian authorities concerned stated that the fishermen would be released from a Karachi prison and then taken to Lahore on August 12. It states that the time management should be such that they could be taken to the Wagah border by the next morning. The letter also talks about travel and food arrangements for the Indian men after they are released from the respective prisons in Karachi, and then taken to Lahore and the Wagah border. The prisoners who have done time of between 16 and 24 months would enter India by road - from the Wagah border - on August 13, the eve of Pakistan's Independence Day.
The names of the fishermen were not released till the time of going to press, but it was reliably learned that they are from Gujarat and Diu. They were taken into custody by Pakistani forces when they had inadvertently crossed over into Pakistani waters.
Jatin Desai, a veteran journalist from Mumbai, who is associated with organisations that work towards ensuring peace between the neighbours through citizens' initiatives, confirmed mid-day's information.
Desai said the fishermen would be released in Lahore on August 12 and then taken to Wagah border by the next afternoon. "As per my experience, Pakistan Rangers should hand over the Indians to the CRPF posted on our side. The fishermen should be in India by late afternoon on August 13," said Desai, welcoming Pakistan's gesture. He said this is an act that would serve the interests of both countries.
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