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As a goodwill gesture, the Government of Pakistan decided to release 57 Indian fishing boats, last May, that were in its custody.

In this regard, 8-member Indian delegation visited Karachi from 9 March to finalize modalities for the repatriation of boats with officials of the Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA). While the PMSA had kept the boats in good condition, it extended full support to the visiting team in making the boats seaworthy after minor repairs. Subsequently, the boats were towed to the maritime boundary today, where these were physically taken over by the Indian side.

Indian fishermen and boats are often apprehended by PMSA authorities when they violate Pakistan territorial waters. Usually the boats are not in seaworthy condition and are not returned. However, following instructions from the Prime Minister to return these boats, special efforts were undertaken by the PMSA to ensure that the boats are returned to their owners.

21 March 2015

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