Karachi - The Pakistan Navy on Sunday said it had delivered “medical and humanitarian assistance” to 12 Indian fishermen on a boat which was lost at sea after developing engine trouble.

The Pakistan Navy in a press release claimed that about eight days back its ship PNS Alamgir delivered assistance to the Indian fishermen travelling on the ‘ST Mars’ boat.

The fishermen were close to running out of food and water after their boat developed engine problems eight days back. The stranded fishermen sent calls for help, but no Indian boat had come to their rescue, the release said.

It said there were 12 Indian fishermen on the ST Mars and medical and other assistance was provided to them on humanitarian grounds.

The Pakistan Navy said it also helped the fishermen as PNS Alamgir technical team fixed faults in the boat's engine.

The fishermen thanked the Pakistan Navy for their help, and in a heart-warming gesture, joined the Pakistan Navy in raising slogans of ‘Long Live Pakistan’.

The spokesperson for Pakistan Navy noted that the naval forces of the country had always been at the forefront of relief and rescue operations at sea. “In addition to protecting the borders, naval forces have always been at the forefront of relief and rescue operations. This rescue mission also highlights that Pakistan wants peace in the region,” the spokesperson reaffirmed in a statement to the media.

In March, Pakistan Navy provided medical aid to fishermen on a Yemeni boat.

According to a spokesperson of Pakistan Navy , the Yemeni boat, Al Barq, had 16 passengers on board and had called PNS Shamsheer for help.

PAKISTAN REPATRIATES INDIAN NATIONAL

The military said Sunday that an Indian national, who had mistakenly crossed the border, has been handed over to the Indian authorities.

The army said Dalwinder Singh, 23 year old, who had inadvertently crossed into Pakistan on March 6, 2017, at a village in Kasur district has been returned to Indian Border Security Force by Pakistan paramilitary Rangers at Wagah Check Post after due legal process.

"Dalwinder Singh was thankful to Pakistan Security Forces for treatment and care meted to him during the period and his return," a statement from the army's media wing Inter-Services Public Relations said.

Pakistan has returned the Indian national at a time when both countries are involved in cross-border skirmishes.

Pakistan and Indian military officials spoke on Friday to explore ways to reduce tension along the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir.

An army statement said hotline contact was established between Pakistani and Indian Director General Military Operations (DGMOs) and the Pakistan Army took up the issue of "continuing surge in ceasefire violations (CFVs) by Indian Army" along the LoC and Working Boundary.

The military said on Friday that "unprovoked ceasefire violations" by the Indian forces killed two civilians and injured two others along the LoC.

Pakistan and India declared ceasefire in 2003 along the LoC, however, both countries routinely accuse each other of ceasefire violations.

These positive gestures from Pakistan came amid reports that Pakistan and India had agreed for military drills in Russia.

It will be for the first time since independence that Pakistan and India will both be part of a military exercise, though the armies of the two nations have worked together in UN peacekeeping missions.

Both countries will be part of a multi-nation counter-terror exercise in Russia in September, which will also be joined by China and several other countries.

The military exercise will take place under the framework of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), a China-dominated security grouping which is increasingly seen as a counterweight to NATO, officials said.

They said the military drill will be held in the Ural mountains of Russia and almost all SCO member countries will be part of it.

Officials said the main aim of the exercise, Peace Mission, will be to enhance counter-terror cooperation among the eight SCO member countries.

The SCO was founded at a summit in Shanghai in 2001 by the Presidents of Russia, China, Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

India and Pakistan were admitted as observers of the grouping in 2005.