UNSTARRED QUESTION NO-2133
ANSWERED ON- 04/08/2022
FISHERMEN FROM GUJARAT LODGED IN JAILS IN PAKISTAN
†2133. SHRI SHAKTISINH GOHIL
Will the Minister of EXTERNAL AFFAIRS be pleased to state:
(a) the number of fishermen from the State of Gujarat lodged in jails in Pakistan;
(b) the offences for which these fishermen are languishing in Pakistan's jail; and
(c) the efforts being made by Government for release of these fishermen?
THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
(SHRI V. MURALEEDHARAN)
(a) to (c) As per available information, 546 Indian or believed to be Indian fishermen under Pakistan custody are from the state of Gujarat. It has been reported that Indian fishermen along with their boats are apprehended by Pakistani authorities for allegedly fishing in Pakistani waters and charged under the Fisheries Act of Pakistan.
Government attaches the highest priority to the welfare, safety and security of Indian fishermen. As soon as cases of apprehension of Indian fishermen and their fishing boats by Pakistan are reported, immediate steps are taken by the Indian Mission in Islamabad towards seeking consular access from the Pakistan Government. All possible assistance, including legal assistance, is extended to the fishermen for their early release and repatriation, along with the release of their boats. Cases of apprehension of Indian fishermen and their fishing boats by Pakistan authorities are consistently raised with the Pakistan Government and it is conveyed that this issue may be considered on humanitarian and livelihood grounds.
As a result of sustained efforts by the Government, 2160 Indian fishermen and 57 Indian fishing boats have been repatriated from Pakistan since 2014. This includes 40 Indian fishermen who have been repatriated from Pakistan this year, so far.