Pakistan releases Indian national Hamid Nihal Ansari from prison: Report
The Mumbai resident had been sentenced to three years in jail for possessing a fake Pakistani identity card
- Published 18.12.18, 3:24 PM
- Updated 18.12.18, 3:24 PM
- a min read
A software engineer from Mumbai, who was detained in Pakistan six years ago for entering Pakistan illegally to reportedly meet a girl he had befriended online, has been set free.
Hamid Nihal Ansari, 33, was released from a Pakistani jail on Tuesday to be repatriated to India.
Ansari was detained by Pakistan's intelligence agencies in 2012 after he entered the country from Afghanistan and subsequently sentenced to three years' imprisonment by a military court on December 15, 2015, for possessing a fake Pakistani identity card. He was lodged in Peshawar Central Jail.
His three-year jail term ended on December 15, 2018, but he was not able to leave for India as his legal documents were not ready.
On Thursday, Peshawar High Court gave the federal government a month's deadline to complete his repatriation process.
Ansari was released on Tuesday and shifted to Islamabad for his onward journey to India, the state-run Radio Pakistan reported.
After he was taken into custody by Pakistani intelligence agencies and local police in Kohat in 2012, Ansari had gone missing. His mother Fauzia Ansari filed a habeas corpus petition, and in reply to her plea, the high court was informed that Ansari was in the custody of the Pakistan army and was being tried by a military court.
Pakistan claims that Ansari was an "Indian spy who had illegally entered Pakistan and was involved in anti-state crimes and forging documents".
A two-judge Peshawar High Court bench, comprising Justice Roohul Amin and Justice Qalandar Ali Khan, on Thursday heard an appeal filed by Ansari through his lawyer Qazi Muhammad Anwar.
Justice Khan asked the additional attorney general to explain how they could keep the Ansari in jail after completion of his term.
An officer, representing the interior ministry, told the court that a prisoner could be kept for one month while the legal documents were being prepared.
The court then directed the ministry to make all the arrangements within a month to release and deport Ansari.