KARACHI - Pakistani marine forces on Saturday arrested 47 Indian fishermen for allegedly violating territorial waters in the Arabian Sea, police said.

Pakistan’s Maritime Security Agency also captured eight boats belonging to the fishermen, who it said had strayed into Pakistani waters. The fishermen were later handed over to local police in the port city of Karachi. “We have been gived the custody of the 47 Indian fishermen who have been arrested from the sea for violating territorial waters,” Fida Hussain, a senior police official in Karachi, told AFP.

“We will present these detainees to court for completion of the due legal procedure,” he said. Such arrests are frequently carried out by both countries, as the maritime border in the Arabian Sea is poorly defined and many fishing boats lack the technology needed to be certain of their precise location. The fishermen often languish in jail even after serving their term, as poor diplomatic ties between the two arch-rivals mean fulfilling official requirements can take a long time.

Pakistan released 172 Indian fishermen in February as “a goodwill gesture” but arrested 45 others last month. A Pakistani jail official in Karachi told AFP that they already had 428 Indian inmates in custody before the fresh arrests on Saturday. Both countries also use the release of fishermen to express goodwill from time to time.

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