343 Indian fishermen detained in Pakistan: official

January 16th, 2009 - 5:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, Jan 16 (IANS) Pakistan Friday said it had in its detention 343 Indian fishermen while 19 of its own fishermen were in Indian jails for violating maritime boundaries.In an online media briefing, the Foreign Office spokesman said the waters of the Indus delta at the Arabian Sea are considered good for fish breeding that lures the Indian fishermen into entering Pakistan’s territorial waters for a better catch.

“When these fishermen try to venture well inside our territorial waters, the Pakistan Maritime Security Agency apprehends them alongwith their boats,” he said.

The spokesman expressed his concern over the reports of attack on a Pakistani performer Shakeel Siddiqi by “extremist elements” in Mumbai and said: “We are obtaining information and will be addressing this issue in light of this information.”

He, however, said that Pakistan has not issued any India specific travel advisory. “We have been careful and responsible. We do not want to ratchet up this issue,” he said in response to a question whether Pakistan will issue any advisory to its citizens regarding their visit to India.

This is the second consecutive week that the Foreign Office held online briefing instead of traditional media briefing where journalists used to get an opportunity for spontaneous replies.

“Online briefing is an efficient, modern and convenient way to remain in touch with the media whenever the holding of a regular briefing is not possible,” the spokesman said, adding the institution of online briefing is also supported by the new policy of the Foreign Office which calls for wider use of internet within the Foreign Office and in Missions abroad for dissemination of information.

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