ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Pakistan would release and repatriate 291 Indian fishermen as a goodwill gesture on humanitarian grounds, said the Foreign Office on Thursday.
In his weekly media briefing in Islamabad, the Foreign Office Spokesman Dr Muhammad Faisal said that Pakistan has decided to release and repatriate 291 Indian fishermen in two phases on December 29, 2017 and January 08, 2018 via Wagah Border.
Earlier, Pakistan had also released 68 Indian fishermen on October 27, 2017. He said that Pakistan has always maintained that humanitarian issues should be facilitated and not politicized.
Dr Faisal said that Indian atrocities on innocent and defenseless Kashmiris continued unabated this week also, resulting in Shahadat of four people including 22-year-old Asif Iqbal, Tanveer Ahmad Bhat, and 24-year-old Ruby Jan in Kyapwara and Shopian Districts.
The Spokesman also said that the house arrest and illegal detention of Hurriyat leadership in Indian Occupied Kashmir continues, which is highly condemnable and against basic human rights and international law.
Talking about an incident in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Hangu district where an altercation took place between some shopkeepers including local Sikhs, and a local official on price checking, Dr Faisal said that the official concerned was immediately suspended and a formal inquiry ordered.
Dr Muhammad Faisal said that the senior members of the local administration remain in touch with the Sikh community in Hangu, which has lived there in peace and harmony for over a century.
“Pakistan remains fully committed to the freedom of religion and protection of rights of all minorities.” The Spokesman said.
“Sikhs are proud Pakistani citizens and are represented in all walks of life,” he added.