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Return of 57 Indian fishing Boats from Pakistan today

The arrival of 57 Indian fishing boats at Porbandar, Gujarat from Pakistan is scheduled for today late in the evening. These boats started from Pakistan on March 21, 2015 and arrived at International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) on March 22, 2015.

A team of 57 numbers of towing boats, 407 fishermen and 10 Gujarat Government officials had sailed from Porbandar to the designated IMBL site on March 21, 2015 to receive the India boats from Pakistan. These boats were towed away by Pakistani trawlers to the designated location at IMBL site in sea water under the supervision of Pakistan Maritime Security Agency. Two India Coast Guard ships Rajratan and Vijit along with adequate manpower are supervising the whole operation.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had arranged the movement of 8-member team from the Government of Gujarat to Pakistan for inspection, repair and return of the boats on March 10, 2015. The Ministry of External Affairs, High Commission of India, Islamabad, Indian Coast Guard, Indian visiting team, Government of Pakistan and Pakistan Maritime Security Agency had several rounds of discussions regarding the return of boats to India.

The MHA provided an amount of Rs. 1.28 crore approximately for the repair and return of the boats which was carried out from March 11, 2015 to March 19, 2015. It is mentioned that the average cost of each boat is approximately Rs. 25 – 30 lakh. Last time, the operation of bringing 53 Indian boats from Pakistan was in 2003-04.

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