200 fishermen, 3 civilians repatriated to home country past protocol at Attari Wagah

Rashmi Talwar
Attari-Wagah, 2nd June, 2023 —–
Foreign Minister of Pakistan Bilawal Zardari Bhutto, today tweeted in the afternoon about the repatriation of Indian fishermen-“Pakistan is releasing 200 Indian fishermen and 3 civilian prisoners. Earlier, 198 Indian fishermen were repatriated on 12 May 2023. This is in line with Pakistan’s policy of not politicizing humanitarian matters. Compassion should take precedence over politics”. Replying to this tweet one Faraz Khan responded . Faraz Ullah Khan-” It means 200 families will be celebrating today !!!”
An hour later three Indian civilians crossed over via the Wagah Attari Joint Check Post JCP to their homeland from the Indo-Pak border in Amritsar. They were handed over to the BSF and were detained for interrogation and immigration formalities. The three included one Bablu Ram Chander, an Indian who had unintentionally crossed the Indo-Pak border somewhere from the Kartarpur Sahib Sector in the year 2019. While the two Indian Sikhs Harjinder Singh and Balwinder Singh too had inadvertently crossed the border from another side of the Gurudwara Kartarpur Sahib Area belt falling in the Narowal province of Pakistan in the year 2020.
The three were lodged in the Kot Lakhpat Jail infamous for the incarceration of two former Prime ministers of Pakistan Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif.
Two hundred more Indian fishermen prisoners lodged in Landhi and Malir Jail, in Karachi, apprehended from maritime waters from a non-tangible waterline border between India and Pakistan in the Indian Ocean were looking forward to freedom in their home countries. The 200 Indian fishermen were brought amidst tight security, to Lahore via Allama Iqbal Express train from Karachi by the Edhi Foundation. The Edhi Welfare Trust arranged the safe transportation of Indian fishermen to Lahore The prisoners were taken in a fleet of tempo traveler mini buses to Wagah from Lahore station accompanied by security vehicles.
They were handed over by Pakistani Rangers personnel to the Border Security Force at the border’s Joint Check Post (JCP)
While crossing the border into India at about 9.30 pm, each of the prisoners was handed over an Indian flag by the BSF personnel.
All 203 of them were issued ‘Emergency Travel Certificates’ by the Indian High Commission in Islamabad before they crossed over to their homeland, officials informed. Indian fishermen had been nabbed by the Pak Navy in the maritime areas of the Indian Ocean. Fishermen from both countries often stray into each other’s territories without any intention of doing so.
The Pakistani fishermen’s repatriation is part of India-Pakistan’s Treaty of Understanding of prisoner repatriation of each other’s country after completion of jail terms due to border trespass.