India must reciprocate Pakistan by sending back Dr. Chishty and Pakistani fishermen

This is a statement put out by some of us; names of signatories is given at the end

We, the undersigned, welcome the decision of Pakistan government to release 26 Indian fishermen on humanitarian grounds. They were in Pakistani prison for more than two years for allegedly violating territorial border. The Pakistani gesture came in the background of a meeting, which took place in New Delhi, between the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh & the Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari on last Sunday. The poor Indian and Pakistani fishermen find it extremely difficult to recognize other country’s territorial border in the mid-sea.

We appeal to the Government of India to reciprocate Pakistani gesture by sending Dr. Khaleel Chishty and Pakistani fishermen back home. This will be a major confidence building measure. It will help in creating a conducive atmosphere in taking forward peace process.

We also appeal to both the governments to release and return all confiscated boats of fishermen. These boats are owned by the fishermen and it is the only source of income for them. Their livelihood depends on boats. Around 700 Indian confiscated boats are lying in and around Karachi and more than 150 Pakistani boats are lying in India.

Signed by,

  1. Jatin Desai, Journalist, Mumbai
  2. Kuldip Nayar, Journalist, Delhi
  3. Mahesh Bhatt, Filmmaker, Mumbai
  4. Vrinda Grover, Lawyer, Delhi
  5. Suhasini Muley, Actor, Mumbai
  6. Admiral L Ramdas, Activist, Alibaug
  7. Ved Bhasin, Journalist, Jammu
  8. Shivam Vij, Journalist, Delhi
  9. Sanjay Nahar, Activist, Pune
  10. Manisha Gupte, Activist, Pune
  11. Varsha Berry, Activist, Mumbai
  12. Haris Kidwai, Activist, Delhi
  13. Mazher Hussain, Activist, Hyderabad

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