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Last Updated Saturday March 24 2018 05:17 PM IST

Pakistan arrests 25 Indian fishermen

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Pakistan arrests 25 Indian fishermen Representative image

Karachi: Pakistan has arrested 25 Indian fishermen this week for allegedly fishing in the country's territorial waters, officials said on Wednesday.

The Maritime Security Force made the arrests in the last four days and also seized the fishermen's four boats, the officials said.

The Indian fishermen were fishing illegally in the Arabian Sea in Pakistan s coastal area, MSA official Farhat Khan said.

"The arrests have been carried out in the last 96 hours and the last arrests were of eight Indian fishermen, he said.

Around 14 of the arrested fishermen had already been sent to Central jail on judicial remand by a magistrate while others were in custody of the docks police.

"These Indian fishermen were arrested in four different operations after they were warned to leave Pakistan's territorial waters," he said.

The latest arrests bring the number of Indian fishermen arrested by the MSA this year to around 350.

Hundreds of Indian fishermen languish in jails in Karachi despite the Pakistan government releasing them in batches from time to time as a goodwill gesture.

Earlier this year, the Pakistan government released 219 Indian fishermen in January while in December 2016 a batch of 220 fishermen were released from Malir jail.

Ashraf Chandio of the Pakistan Fishermen Forum said the government needed to do more to clearly demarcate boundaries in the Arabian Sea to stop poor fishermen from both the countries from straying into each others area.

"These fishermen don't have high tech boats and are unable to navigate properly in the open sea, he said.

Fishermen from both countries are arrested frequently by the maritime security agencies of both countries for illegal fishing and often stray into illegal waters due to absence of any proper technology to confirm the coastline border between Pakistan and India near Sir Creek in the Arabian Sea.

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