After Six Years Of Imprisonment In Pakistan, Hamid Ansari Returns To India
Six years after Pakistani intelligence agencies detained him, 33-year-old Indian national Hamid Nihal Ansari has been released from the Pakistani jail and has returned home on Tuesday, December 18.
Pakistan Frees Indian Techie
After being charged with possession of fake identity and espionage, the 33-year-old was arrested in 2012 and was lodged in the Peshawar Central Jail after he was sentenced by the military court on 15 December 2015. While his three-year jail term ended on 15 December 2018, Ansari was unable to leave the country since his legal documents were not ready yet.
Ansari, a software engineer from Mumbai went missing after he illegally entered northwest Pakistan illegally to meet and save a woman he befriended online from a forced marriage. Crossing over from Afghanistan to Peshawar in Pakistan on November 12, 2012, where he was nabbed by the Pakistani forces.
According to news agency IANS, Pakistan-India Peoples Forum for Peace and Democracy (PIPFPD) General Secretary Jatin Desai said, “Yes, it’s really great news. Ansari has been released from jail and will be handed over to India at the Wagah Border later on Tuesday.” Ansari will not only be welcomed by his own parents and family members but also a number of India-Pakistan friendship activists, officials and political personalities, reported Firstpost.
Hamid Ansari’s mother Fauzia said, “He went with noble intentions but initially went missing and was later caught and framed. He shouldn’t have gone without a visa. His release is a victory for humanity.”
Indian national Hamid Ansari who was lodged in a jail in Pakistan, is being released today. His mother says, "He went with noble intentions but initially went missing and was later caught and framed. He shouldn't have gone without a visa. His release is a victory for humanity." pic.twitter.com/LcfHQxblyX
— ANI (@ANI) December 18, 2018
The Indian Express has reported sources in New Delhi as saying that even after reminding the Pakistani government 96 times through notes verbale (a diplomatic note), the Pakistani government did not allow consular access. Reportedly, the Pakistani government allowed one phone call with Ansari’s mother last year. Officials have reportedly claimed that Ansari’s case was a violation of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.
The Hindustan Times has reported legal experts as saying that Ansari should have been freed earlier as he had already spent three years in jail when he was sentenced. Additionally, the Peshawar High Court had also given a one-month deadline to the Pakistan government to wrap up formalities for Ansari’s repatriation. Reportedly, this happened after the court heard the final appeal by his lawyer.