Fishermen from both countries getting arrested for trespassing the maritime boundary has been a longstanding problem. (Image courtesy: Wikimedia Commons) Photograph: (Others)
The captured boats had set sail from the coastal town of Porbandar a few days ago
Pakistan has captured 18 Indian fishermen and seized three boats off the coast of Gujarat, National Fishworkers' Forum said Sunday, a development that is likely to escalate tensions between the two countries.
Three fishing boats from Porbandar, Okha and Mangrol -- three towns in western India -- were seized and 18 fishermen sailing on them captured by Pakistan Maritime Security Agency late Saturday night from near the International Maritime Border Line (IMBL), NFF secretary Manish Lodhari said.
The captured boats had set sail from the coastal town of Porbandar a few days ago, Lodhari said.
This is the first such incident in April, Lodhari said, adding that in March alone, 231 Indian fishermen were arrested by Pakistan authorities and 40 boats seized.
On March 26, PMSA had apprehended over 100 Indian fishermen and seized 19 boats near IMBL.
Last month, the Indian Coast Guard had captured nine Pakistani fishermen along with a fishing boat found sailing in Indian waters.
Fishermen from both countries getting arrested for trespassing the maritime boundary has been a longstanding problem. But despite the spate of arrests each year, the two countries have yet to officially demarcate their maritime boundary.
(WION with inputs from PTI)