Pakistan arrests 37 Indian poachers

Pakistan's coast guard arrested 37 Indian fishermen and seized their four boats for allegedly fishing illegally in Pakistani waters in the Arabian Sea, an official said Thursday. The fishermen were arrested late Wednesday about 160 kilometers (100 miles) southeast of Karachi, Pakistan's main Arabian Sea port, said Lt. Comm. Attiqur Rahman, a spokesman for the Maritime Security Agency, which made the arrests.

The Indian fishermen were arrested after disregarding warnings to leave Pakistani territory, Rahman said. Pakistan and India routinely arrest each other's fishermen in the Arabian Sea for border violations or even on charges of spying. Many are held for years before being released.

In a prisoners' exchange in September, Pakistan freed 435 Indian fishermen and India released 148 Pakistanis. But since then Pakistan has arrested 245 Indian fishermen, Rahman said.

Pakistan and India share a history of bitter relations mainly because of their dispute over the Himalayan region of Kashmir, which both claim.

In 2004 the rival nations began a series of negotiations to settle Kashmir and other disputes. They also agreed to work for the quick release of arrested fishermen, reports the AP. N.U.

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