KARACHI - Civil society organisations from both sides of the divide have demanded immediate release of about 900 fishermen languishing in both the Indian and Pakistani prisons and urged the two governments to stop arrests of poor fishermen in the future. This demand was made in a letter addressed to Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and his Indian counterpart Dr Manmohan Singh on Tuesday. The letter is written by six civil society organizations that include Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (PILER), Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF) from Pakistan, and Focus on the Global South, National Fishworkers Forum, Boat Owners Association, Porbandar and Peace Mumbai from India. The letter simultaneously released to press from New Delhi and Karachi says that as many as 580 Indian fishermen are languishing in the Pakistani prisons while about 460 fishermen imprisoned in India have completed their sentences but have not been released so far. Similarly, there are 247 Pakistani prisoners including 150 Fishermen in Indian jails. They have been granted Consular Access to High Commission for Pakistan in New Delhi and to whose travel documents have also been issued by the High Commission. A large number of these Pakistani prisoners have completed their sentences or are juvenile prisoners. All such Pakistani prisoners be released without any further delay, the organizations demanded in the letter. The letter cites a recent judgment of the Indian Supreme Court regarding the case of 17 Pakistani prisoners who had completed their sentence. The Indian Supreme Court had observed that the government cannot keep such prisoners in detention in violation of the fundamental human rights. The right to life and liberty was not dependent on another countrys action, the court had observed. The letter further reads that despite the fact that the two countries have formed a joint Judicial Committee on Prisoners which comprises well know jurists, recommendations of the Committee are not implemented. Clear and unambiguous orders to the departments concerned of the two countries may also be issued to ensure compliance with the unanimous recommendations of the official India-Pakistan Judicial Committee on Prisoners. India-Pakistan Joint Judicial Committee on Prisoners, set up in January 2007 comprising four retired judges of high courts and supreme courts from each county, had recommended release of all Indian and Pakistani fishermen. This recommendation is yet to be implemented. The Committee had also recommend steps for human treatment and expeditious release of their nationals from the respective prisons. The letter also demands that the trawlers seized by authorities worth millions of rupees should also be handed over to original owners.