Pakistani authorities on Thursday released 145 Indian nationals from Karachi's Malir Jail as a gesture of goodwill towards India, even as a war of words between Islamabad and New Delhi continued in the background on the circumstances in which a recent meeting between convicted spy Kulbhushan Jadhav and his family took place.
The freed prisoners, all fisherman who had trespassed into Pakistani waters, were taken amid tight security to Karachi Cantonment Railway Station, from where they will be sent to Lahore on board the Allama Iqbal Express.
The prisoners will subsequently be handed over to security forces at the Indian border.
The Indian prisoners seemed delighted upon learning of their release and have been looking forward to their repatriation.
They also appreciated the way they were treated by Pakistani jail authorities, telling DawnNews that upon reaching home, they will demand from Indian authorities that they reciprocate and free Pakistani prisoners held in Indian jails.
The prisoners were also given gifts and cash prizes by Edhi Foundation head Faisal Edhi, who revealed that negotiations to have 140 more Indian prisoners released are underway.