India releases twelve Pakistani Fishermen

From Abid Usman

LAHORE: Pakistani fishermen, who were released earlier from Indian jail, have reached home via Wagah border crossing. The 12 fishermen were handed over to Pakistan by Indian authorities at the Wagah border in Lahore on Thursday. The released fishermen belong to Sindh and Azad Kashmir.
India’s maritime security forces had taken them into custody for allegedly violating their territorial waters.
Pakistan and India swap lists of prisoners in each other’s custody twice a year, on January 1 and 1st July. Pakistan has a higher rate of freeing Indian prisoners than the Indian rate of freeing Pakistan prisoners, according to the report. Last year in July, Pakistan had released 20 Indian fishermen detained in the Malir Jail in Karachi. There are still over 500 Indian prisoners in the Malir jail in Karachi.
While, a bench comprised of Chief Justice Athar Minallah heard a petition filed by the Indian High Commission seeking release of those Indian prisoners who had been convicted by Pakistan’s courts and had since completed their respective prison terms.
The court granted time to counsel of the Indian High Commission for preparation of arguments on the case.
“The prisoners who served their jail terms should be released from jail according to the law,” the Chief Justice remarked.
Additional Attorney General Tariq Khokhar informed the court that seven out of eight prisoners in jails have been sent to India and only one remaining. He said one Indian prisoner has been jailed under the spying Act.
“Five Indian prisoners were sent to India on October 26, two more were released after completion of their prison terms, the state counsel said.
“Tell the court about remaining prisoners, who have completed their sentences awarded by the military courts,” the Chief Justice asked.
“Under which law you can keep them in prison when their sentences have been completed,” the chief justice asked.
The court told the state counsel to convince the bench over the matter in the next hearing of the case and adjourned further hearing until November 09.
The counsel of the Indian High Commission in previous hearing had argued before the bench that Indian convicts have been in jail despite completion of their sentences.