The Pakistan-India Peoples’ Forum for Peace and Democracy (PIPFPD) requested External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj for an early release of the bodies of Indian fishermen which are decomposing in a Pakistan mortuary.
Jatin Desai, general secretary of PIPFDP said in a statement that while one fisherman, Vaaga Chauhan, died on December 12, 2015, nearly four months ago, Ratan Das died on February 8 this year. Both came from the coastal Saurashtra region of Gujarat.
Their bodies have been kept in the Edhi Trusts’ mortuary in Karachi, and despite all efforts by their families they have not been released and handed over for the last rites.
“We learn that the bodies of the two fishermen have already started decomposing, and if they are not sent back in the next couple of days, they may not be in a state to be transported. It’s a matter of serious concern,” Desai said.
Yesterday, he lettered to Sushma Swaraj appealing her to understand the pain and anguish of the families of the deceased who want to perform the last rites.
“Ideally, whenever someone dies, the body should be sent back to his/her home country in the next available flight. There cannot be any justification for keeping bodies for months. This is happening regularly in the case of poor fishermen,” Desai said.
Urging the governments of India and Pakistan to view the issue from a humanitarian angle, the PIPFPD said the two neighbours should evolve a permanent solution to the dead fishermen concerning both sides.