Pakistan on Thursday released 217 more Indian fishermen as part of a “goodwill gesture”, taking the total number to 447, Dawn reported. District Jail Malir Superintendent Hasan Sehto said the men would be handed over to Indian border officials at Wagah.
While Islamabad was supposed to free 218 fishermen, one of them died on Wednesday of a heart attack. Jeena Bhagwan was taken to the jail hospital after complaining of chest pains, according to another fisherman.
Many of the fishermen had been in jail for over a year. Around 100 more remain in prison while they wait for the Indian High Commission to confirm their nationality, AFP reported. The release of the second group of men comes after the first batch was freed on December 25.
On December 22, an NGO had said that another batch of 219 fishermen would be released on January 5. The fishermen’s release comes amid souring relations between India and Pakistan since a militant attack on an Indian Army camp in Jammu and Kashmir’s Uri district and the surgical strikes the Indian Army conducted along the LoC following the attack.