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Pakistan releases Indian fishermen amid Kashmir tension

Pakistan has freed 78 Indian fishermen that had been arrested for illegally entering its territorial waters in the Arabian Sea. Pakistani authorities said the move was a "goodwill gesture" toward the Indian government.

"We have released 78 Indian fishermen this morning," police officer Muhammad Salim told the Deutsche Presse-Agentur news agency on Sunday.

Pakistan and India often arrest each other's fishermen when stray across unmarked international boundaries in the Arabian Sea.

Government official, Naseem Siddiqui, said the Indian fishermen were detained last year for illegally entering Pakistani waters. They were released as a "goodwill gesture" by Islamabad, Siddiqui added.

The fishermen boarded a train bound for Lahore, from where they will be picked up by Indian authorities at the Wagah border.

Read: Tallest national flag a major draw on India-Pakistan border

Some 564 Indian prisoners, including 494 fishermen, are currently being detained in Pakistani jails, according to a recent statement from Pakistan's foreign office.

Pakistan's move comes amidst rising tensions on the Indian-Pakistani border along the Kashmir region, which both countries claim in full but rule in part.

Read: The Islamization of Kashmir's separatist movement

New Delhi accuses Islamabad of providing militaristic support to armed separatists, a charge Pakistan denies.

shs/jlw (AP, dpa)

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