LAHORE - Pakistan is going to release at least 80 Indian fishermen as a goodwill gesture, official sources said on Saturday.

Pakistan Rangers will hand over these fishermen to Indian border security force on Monday at Wagah border.  This move, described by Pakistani officials as a goodwill gesture, comes amid heightened tensions between Islamabad and New Delhi over rising violence in Occupied Kashmir.

According to Pakistan Army’s media wing, at least five civilians including four women were reported killed and 10 others injured in the cross-border shelling by Indian troops on Saturday. A spokesperson for the Edhi Foundation told The Nation said that some 80 Indian fishermen will arrive in Lahore from Karachi on a special train – Allama Iqbal Express– on Monday morning.

“The Edhi Foundation has arranged food and travel facilities for the fishermen,” Muhammad Younis, a spokesperson for the charity said. “These fishermen will be taken to Wagah border on special buses from Lahore Railway Station.”

The fishermen to be freed on Monday were captured for illegally entering Pakistani waters in the Arabian Sea. An official said that India must reciprocate the Pakistani gesture and release fishermen lodged in Indian jails since years.

Last year in February, an Indian Navy ship while violating Pakistan’s sea boundaries entered near the Kajhur Creek along the coastal district of Sujawal and forcibly took away a Pakistani fishing boat along with 11 fishermen. Reportedly, the Indian personnel manhandled the fishermen including children and took them away along with their boat.

Fishermen are frequently arrested and their boats are seized by both Pakistan and India’s maritime security forces.

According to experts, this happens because it is not possible to draw boundaries in the sea. Also, many fishing boats lack the technology needed to be certain of their precise location.

Both the neighbouring countries use the release of fishermen to express goodwill from time to time. Fishermen often end up in jails because fulfilling legal formalities take a long time due to poor diplomatic ties between the two arch rivals.

Fishermen are frequently arrested and their boats are seized by both Pakistan and India’s maritime security forces.

According to experts, this happens because it is not possible to draw boundaries in the sea. Also, many fishing boats lack the technology needed to be certain of their precise location.

Both the neighbouring countries use the release of fishermen to express goodwill from time to time. Fishermen often end up in jails because fulfilling legal formalities take a long time due to poor diplomatic ties between the two arch rivals.