Pakistan Sunday released 220 Indian fishermen arrested for entering the country’s territorial waters, officials said.

The prisoner release is the first major sign of de-escalation between the nuclear-armed neighbours after months of high tension over the disputed Kashmir border.

“We have released 220 Indian fishermen this morning,” senior police officer Sada Hussain Zardari said.

He said the Indian fishermen were released as goodwill gesture.

A remaining 219 Indian fishermen would be released on Jan. 5, Zardari said.

While they are often immediately released, fishermen can often languish in jail for months or years when political ties between the two regional rivals are under strain.

The relationship between Islamabad and New Delhi fell to its lowest ebb in years after an attack in September by militants on an Indian army base in the disputed region of Kashmir.