India on Friday strongly raised the matter of Pakistan taking into custody Indian fishermen and has sought immediate consular access to them.
Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA) has taken into custody 56 Indian fishermen along with 10 Indian boats, alleging they crossed into Pakistani waters.
The development comes amidst heightened tensions between the two countries. Ties between the two countries suffered a blow after Pakistan downgraded ties with India in the aftermath of New Delhi removing special status for the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Earlier this year in January, 20 Indian fishermen from Andhra Pradesh were released by the Pakistan government. A number of steps have been taken by the Indian Coast Guard to guide Indian fishermen not to cross-over the perceived International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) through various community interaction programmes.
All in all, since 2014, Indian government has been able to secure release and repatriation of 2133 Indian prisoners, including fishermen along with 57 boats from Pakistan’s custody.