Pakistan hands over 100 Indian fishermen in goodwill gesture

April 8, 2019
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Released Indian fisherman Ismail shows his name tag at Lahore railway station to leave for their homeland, in Pakistan, Monday, April 8, 2019. Pakistani officials said they will release the first batch of 360 Indian prisoners detained for fishing illegally in the country's territorial waters in the Arabian sea. Prison official Munir Ahmed said Sunday that 100 prisoners will travel by train under police guard to the eastern city of Lahore before being handed over to Indian authorities at the Wagah border crossing Monday. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)

LAHORE, Pakistan (AP) — Pakistani authorities have handed over 100 detained Indian fishermen to their country’s officials at the Wahga border crossing. This is the first batch of a total 360 fishermen set for release this month.

The transfer on Monday comes as a goodwill gesture aiming to defuse tensions between the two nuclear-armed South Asian neighbors. The fishermen were released Sunday in Karachi and escorted to the eastern city of Lahore.

Pakistan and India frequently arrest each other’s fishermen on charges of illegal fishing in their territorial waters. They often languish in detention until such goodwill gestures are shown from either side.

Tensions between the two nations flared in February after a suicide bombing in the Indian-controlled part of Kashmir killed more than 40 Indian soldiers.