The tragedy of a fisherman who died of COVID-19 while imprisoned in India, far from his family in Karachi, highlights the link between geopolitics and climate change – issues that will be deliberated at COP26 in Glasgow.
In November 2017, Amir Hamza was among the crew of a Pakistani fishing boat arrested by Indian security forces across the maritime border.
Fisherfolk along the Arabian Sea coast shared by nuclear-armed neighbours Pakistan and India know that they risk such arrests, as well as sea storms, if they stray across the invisible line. But it is a risk they take, driven by declining fish populations.
When caught, the men are hauled off to prison on ‘the other side’ and their boats impounded. Both sides rarely return these vessels, which often represent the life-savings of their owners.
Throw back the catch
Activists have long been urging both countries to adopt a no-arrest policy for fishermen who stray across the…