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Pakistan releases 113 Indian fishermen ahead of Ramadan

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Islamabad: Pakistan on Thursday released 113 Indian fishermen as a goodwill gesture ahead of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

The release came on a directive of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in the wake of a similar announcement by his Indian counterpart Narenda Modi.

The fishermen, who had been kept in Karachi’s Malir jail for nine months to a year, were put on a train bound for the eastern border city of Lahore from where they will return to their home country, Duniya news reported.

Earlier, Modi also conveyed the decision of the Indian government to release detained Pakistani fishermen. He said the fishermen released would be able to be with their families to observe this blessed month. 

Modi recently accused Pakistan of backing terrorism against India while Pakistan’s leadership reacted angrily to remarks by Indian leaders that a cross-border raid against militants was a “message” to Islamabad.

In a tweet, Modi said: “Also conveyed to PM Sharif our decision to release detained Pakistani fishermen on this pious occasion.” He said in another tweet that the fishermen were being released so that they could be with their families to “observe this blessed month”.

Fishermen are frequently arrested along with their boats by both India and Pakistan as the maritime boundary in the Arabian Sea is poorly defined, and many fishing boats lack the technology needed to be certain of their precise location.

Both countries also use the release of fishermen to express goodwill from time to time.

(IANS)

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Mother Convicted of Forcing Daughter to Marry

A British court has convicted a mother of forcing her daughter to marry a relative almost twice her age in Pakistan, in a first successful prosecution of its type in England.

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A union flag is flown at half mast in Westminster after an attack on London Bridge and Borough Market left 7 people dead and dozens injured in London, Britain, June 4, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Coombs

A British court has convicted a mother of forcing her daughter to marry a relative almost twice her age in Pakistan, in a first successful prosecution of its type in England.

A jury at Birmingham Crown Court on Tuesday convicted the mother of four of duping her then 17-year-old daughter into travelling to Pakistan on the pretext of a family holiday in 2016 and forcing her to marry there, the BBC reported.

The mother was found guilty of two counts of forced marriage and was scheduled to be sentenced.

The court heard the girl had been entered into a “marriage contract” with the man years before in Pakistan and became pregnant at 13. The victim had an abortion on returning to the UK, with her doctor reporting his concerns to social services.

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Prosecutors said the girl’s mother told them that her daughter and the man were just “two teenagers who had sneakily had sex” after she was referred, the BBC said.

The girl was tricked into travelling to Pakistan again in September 2016 and was forced by her mother to sign marriage papers.

When the daughter protested against the marriage, her mother threatened to burn her passport and assaulted her.

The mother was also convicted of perjury after she lied about the incident in the High Court.

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It is the first time a forced marriage case of this kind has been successfully prosecuted in an English court. Prosecutions for forced marriage, which became an offense in 2014, are rare. (IANS)

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