ISLAMABAD: Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz Friday said that 450 Pakistani fishermen were arrested by Indian authorities during the last five years.

Speaking in the Senate during question hour the advisor said out of total 450 Pakistani fishermen arrested 395 fishermen had been released by the Indian authorities .

He said they were arrested for their alleged unauthorized presence in the Indian waters, adding whenever an arrest was brought to our notice Pakistan requested the Indian authorities for consular access so as to collect information on the detainee and establish his or her Pakistani citizenship.

He said the antecedents so collected were examined by the Ministry of Interior for confirmation of national status adding once the national status of a prisoner was confirmed and formal request was made to the Indian side for early repatriation of the concerned detainee.

He added such a request in some cases was not entertained as the Indian authorities initiate legal proceedings against the detainee. He said the High Commission for Pakistan New Delhi arranges legal assistance to under trial detainees and in this regard a law firm had been hired by the High Commission.

The advisor said financial assistance was also provided wherever required and Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi coordinates with the Indian Ministry of External Affairs for expeditious repatriation of prisoners who have either been acquitted or have completed their respective sentence.

Replying to another question he said that Pakistan and Indonesia enjoyed excellent relations in different fields including defence and culture.