Published in The Daily Times on Feb. 15 ::
Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF) has demanded an amicable resolution of fishermen’s detention on both Pakistan and Indian sides and urged authorities concerned to release them on humanitarian grounds.
Chairman PFF Muhammad Ali Shah talking to a group of women journalists who visited coastal area of Deh Aatharki, Shah Bander district Sujawal called for the implementation on United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea-Article 73 which stops arrests fishermen while fishing. Pakistan Council of Media Women (PCMW) arranged learning and exposure visit for female journalists. PCMW is to train professional and media related females to enhance their skills and prove their abilities in the society.
As this law is based on Human Rights so the requirement should be fulfilled. Not only the fishermen but also the boats should be released, Chairman PFF opined. Around forty-five Pakistani fishermen from this area are being kept by Indian authorities.
“There would be ‘no arrest fishermen’ policy that should be drafted and signed between the two countries under which no fishermen should be arrested while fishing,” Shah added.
At present there are around 247 Pakistan fishermen in India jails where as 350 boasts were also confiscated. He said to provide basic facilities such as health, drinking water and education was the duty of government, which has failed to do todate.
PCMW President Humera Motala said she realised media women rarely know the ground realities and facts. “It’s very important to give them exposure opportunities not for coverage but for awareness,” she said. Motala was of the view in most areas of Sindh, situation of poor masses was same adding rulers have ruled this area since 1971 and no effort has been made to bring positive change as compared to Punjab government did, despite corruption allegations have leveled on it but it always focused on their vote bank areas.
Talking to Daily Times journalist Marjan Sindho said Aatharki looks like as it belongs to some other planet where though human survives but life style does not match with other human being by any means. “Rulers only remember them during elections days. After elections rulers become ‘ill-action’ for the masses,” she said.