Pakistan has arrested 20 Indian fishermen and seized their boats for allegedly violating territorial waters off the Arabian Sea coast, over a week after it apprehended 88 Indian fishermen. Eight of the 20 detained fishermen hailed from Andhra Pradesh. Following the incident, the state’s chief minister Chandrababu Naidu asked Andhra Bhavan’s resident commissioner in New Delhi to contact the Ministry of External Affairs in efforts to free the fishermen.
The fishermen reportedly veered into Pakistan’s territory by accident. They were arrested by Pakistan’s Maritime Security Agency (PMSA) and four boats of the fishermen were also seized. The arrests came just over a week after the PMSA arrested 88 Indian fishermen and seized their 16 boats from Arabian Sea off Jakhau port of Gujarat.
India and Pakistan regularly arrest fishermen who venture into unmarked territorial waters of the two countries due to the poorly marked maritime boundary. Some of them spend years behind bars before being repatriated. Nearly 400 Indian fishermen are said to be languishing in Pakistani jails. In the past, the two nations have released many fishermen as goodwill gestures.