The Pakistan Rangers today handed over 78 Indian prisoners, mostly fishermen, to the Border Security Force (BSF) at the Wagah Border after they were released from a jail in Karachi. A Rangers’ official told PTI that 77 Indian fishermen and one other Indian prisoner were handed over to the BSF after verification of their immigration papers. Indian prisoners were handed over after a parade that concluded at dawn, the official said. The Indian fishermen, who were released from Karachi’s Landhi jail, yesterday were brought here by a train this afternoon. “We received the fishermen at the Lahore railways station and brought them to Edhi Foundation and served them food. We have also presented them with a pair of shalwar kameez and Rs 5,000 as gift,” Edhi Foundation spokesman Younis Bhatti said. He said the fishermen were later transported to the Wagah border by bus.
Most of the fishermen handed over to the BSF had completed their sentences at the Landhi jail. They had been held for crossing into Pakistani waters inadvertently. About 298 Indian fishermen are still languishing in the Sindh province of Pakistan, media reports said. Indian fishermen often languish in jail in Sindh even after serving their terms because of bureaucratic hurdles.