Anxious families of fishermen detained in Indian jails will finally get some relief after the Sindh government approved a monthly compensation of Rs10,000 for every detained fishermen.
The families will receive this amount for six months, according to a notification that was issued by the provincial finance department on August 18. The department will release funds amounting to Rs9 million in the current fiscal year for the families of fishermen detained in the Gujarat state of India. As many as 150 families have been identified who will receive the compensation.
According to the notification, the money will be at the disposal of livestock and fisheries secretary who will distribute them to the fishermen’s families through crossed cheques, after fulfillment of all the formalities which include registration of the detained fishermen and their confirmation from the foreign office in Islamabad.
The fund has been sanctioned out of budgetary provision of grants and subventions, relief measures and other compensation cases.
The finance department has the information of 124 fishermen detained in India whose families will be compensated, whereas the concerned department has been advised to get the names of another 26 fishermen from High Commission of Pakistan, New Delhi through Ministry of Foreign Affairs, an official of the finance department revealed.
Talking to The Express Tribune, Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF) spokesperson Kamal Shah said it is the right of the poor families of fishermen community, who are arrested by the Indian authorities while straying across maritime borders, to get regular compensation.
“The families of detained fishermen have to resort to begging as their bread earners get detained in Indian jails,” Shah added. He further disclosed that three of the Pakistani fishermen in Indian custody are from Karachi while the rest are from Thatta and Sujawal districts situated on the coastal belt of Sindh.
PFF Sujawal District President Noor Muhammad said a few families of detained Pakistani fishermen received Rs 10,000 before Eidul Fitr. However, the recent initiative taken by the Sindh government is very commendable as they have decided to compensate the families for six months regularly that would be a great help for the them, he added.
According to Noor Muhammad, the entire wealth of a fisherman is his wooden boat, which is also confiscated by the Indian authorities if he is arrested. He demanded that the government pay compensation to the fishermen against their seized boats when they return to Pakistan after their release.
Every year dozens of Indian and Pakistani fishermen are picked up by their respective neighbouring country after straying across maritime borders in the Arabian Sea. Resultantly, they often languish in prison even after serving their sentences as poor diplomatic relations between the bitter nuclear foes cause delay in procedural matters for their release.
Updated On: August 26, 2017