KARACHI: Pakistan on Monday arrested 33 Indian fishermen, weeks after it announced the release of all jailed Indian fishermen as a goodwill gesture, a statement said.
The fishermen along with five fishing boats were held Monday evening by Pakistan’s Maritime Security Agency (MSA) in the country’s territorial waters in the Arabian Sea during routine patrols, it said in a statement.
“Five Indian fishing boats along with 33 crew members were apprehended for poaching well inside Pakistani waters (approximately 90 nautical miles),” it said.
The agency handed over the fishermen to police for further investigation, the statement said.
Pakistan and India frequently seize each other’s fishermen, accusing them of violating their respective zones in the Arabian Sea, but the fresh arrests come just 23 days after Pakistan announced the release of all Indian fishermen from its jails “as a goodwill gesture”.
Pakistan foreign minister Khar Hina Rabbani Khar had announced the release during a visit of his counterpart S.M. Krishna in September.
Before the latest arrests, some 32 Indian fishermen were still in Pakistani prisons awaiting clearance for release, officials said.
India and Pakistan have fought three wars since independence in 1947, two of them over the Himalayan region of Kashmir, which is divided by a heavily militarised Line of Control and which both countries claim in full.