From: Zarar Khan, Associated Press
Published March 28, 2005 12:00 AM

Pakistan Seize Indian Fishing Trawlers with 70 Tons of Tuna

KARACHI, Pakistan — Pakistan's coast guard seized two Indian fishing trawlers with crew members from India, the Philippines, China and Thailand in Pakistani waters and seized the ships' cargo of 70 tons of tuna, officials said Sunday.


The fishermen were arrested late Saturday more than 100 kilometers (60 miles) southeast of Karachi, Pakistan's main sea port in the Arabian Sea, said Lt. Mohammed Ali, a spokesman for the Maritime Security Agency, which made the arrests.


The two ships had an international crew -- 38 Filipinos, 15 Chinese, six Thais and 14 Indians -- MSA Capt. Mohsin Mirza said at a news briefing.


He said the tuna seized from the ships would be auctioned.


The trawlers are owned by Sri Sea, a company based in the Indian city of Visaka Patnam in Andra Pradesh state, Mirza said.


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Pakistan and India are neighbors in the Arabian Sea and often arrest each other's fishermen, accusing them of illegal entry and fishing.


Last week, Pakistan released more than 500 Indian fishermen as a goodwill gesture.


India is holding 533 Pakistani prisoners, including 140 fishermen, Foreign Ministry spokesman Jalil Abbas Jilani said last week in Islamabad.


Pakistan and India have taken steps in recent months to normalize relations after more than half a century of hatred, mainly over the disputed territory of Kashmir.


The two countries have fought two wars over Kashmir since their independence from British rule in 1947.


Source: Associated Press


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