Policemen escort arrested Indian fishermen at a police station in Karachi in this file photo.    — Photo by AFP/File

Karachi: The Sindh government released on Monday 48 Indian fishermen from Malir district jail Karachi.

The Government of Pakistan had ordered the release of the 48 prisoners out of 80 Indian inmates, as a good will gesture on the eve of the Indian Foreign Ministers visit to Pakistan.

Inspector General (IG) Prisons Mahmood Siddiqui, representatives of Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF) and Legal Aid organisation were present at the time of release.

“We have released 48 Indian fishermen from Malir jail in Karachi as a goodwill gesture,” deputy inspector-general prisons of southern Sindh province, Nusrat Mangan, told AFP.

He said 32 Indian fishermen were still in Pakistani prisons.

"They will also be released after our authorities receive a clearance from the Indian government," he said.

Nazeer Husain Shah, superintendent of the jail, said the released prisoners included 10 teenage boys.

The Indians were presented with flowers and gifts, then bussed to Lahore, from where they would cross the Wagah border.

Officials said they expect India would reciprocate the Pakistani gesture by releasing more than 200 Pakistani fishermen languishing in Indian jails.

“We expect our neighbours will show the similar spirit and release the Pakistani prisoners from their jails,” Ayaz Soomro, law minister of the Sindh province said.

Pakistan and India frequently seize each other's fishermen, accusing them of violating their respective maritime boundaries in the Arabian Sea.

IG Prisons Mahmood Siddiqui told newsmen on this occasion that now there remain only 32 Indian prisoners in Malir jail and soon they also would be released.

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