KARACHI: Fishermen held a rally on Saturday against the harassment constantly faced by their community at the hands of the Indian and Pakistani authorities at sea.
The protesters — including men, women and children — were carrying placards related to rights of the fishermen. Often fishermen from both the Indian and the Pakistani borders at sea are arrested for years and released whenever peace talks, for a momentary period, takes place between the two countries.
A spokesperson for the Pakistan Fisher folk Forum, Kamal Shah, said that more than 265 Pakistani fishermen were in Indian jails and 485 Indian fishermen in Pakistani jails. Ibrahim Hyderi and Rehri Goth were two places from where five fishermen were arrested 20 years ago by the Indian coastguards, he said, adding that their families were still waiting to hear about them.
“There has been an increase in the arrests over the past few months. Fishermen are arrested near the Sir Creek, a water strip between India’s state of Gujarat and Sindh. We have news that the fishermen are being tortured now, which is against their basic rights,” he added.
He said it would serve both countries if they resolved the issue of the Sir Creek which resulted in arrests of fishermen on both sides.
Published in Dawn, January 11th, 2015