Pak hands over 33 prisoners to India
Lahore, Apr 13: Pakistani authorities today handed over 33 prisoners, including a fisherman suffering from cancer, to Indian authorities following their release as a goodwill gesture.
Pakistan Rangers personnel handed over the prisoners, including a total of 26 fishermen, at the Wagah land border even as a new Indian integrated customs check post was inaugurated to boost trade between the two countries.
The prisoners had been jailed on charges of illegally entering Pakistani territory or crossing the maritime boundary.
Pakistan Rangers spokesman Mahboob Husain said they had been handed over to the Border Security Force.
Samant Lakshman Bambhaniya, the fisherman suffering from bone cancer, was airlifted from Karachi to Lahore and then driven to the border in an ambulance.
The other prisoners travelled to the border separately, officials said. Pakistani authorities had initially said 34 prisoners would be freed today but one of the men was not released.
The reason for this could not immediately be ascertained. The release of the prisoners came less than a week after President
Asif Ali Zardari made a day-long private visit to India, where he met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and offered prayers at a Sufi shrine in Ajmer.
Lastupdate on : Fri, 13 Apr 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 13 Apr 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 14 Apr 2012 00:00:00 IST
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