Invisible border: Freed Pakistani children reach home

A fisherman, who was released by the Indian government, is welcomed by a relative at Cantt railway station in Karachi. PHOTO: PPI

KARACHI: 

Eleven Pakistani children, including 10 fishermen, arrived in Karachi on Thursday after they were released from Indian jails.

One of the children, who arrived at Karachi’s Cantt station, had been in Indian custody for two years, while others were arrested around four months ago.

Nine children are from Karachi while the remaining two hail from interior of Sindh. Abdul Aziz, a fisherman from Thatta, told reporters that he and 13 other boys were fishing in the open sea around four months ago when the Indian Navy arrested them. He said they were initially kept in naval custody for interrogation but were later shifted to the Jamnagar Jail in Indian Gujarat. He also said that he was not aware of his release until authorities took him to the Wagah Border.

Another released child, Narain Kohli, who works as a farmer, said he got lost in the Thar Desert two years ago while on his way to work. He was trying to return to his village in Nagarparkar when he was arrested and handed over to Indian Border Security Force personnel, he said.

Narain said he was kept in the Bhuj Jail in Gujarat and was not allowed to contact his family. Around three days ago, he was taken to a juvenile prison before being released at the border, he said, adding that Indian authorities gave him and the other children train tickets with Rs200 each for travel expenses.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 1st, 2011.

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