Indian National Hamid Nehal Ansari Freed by Pakistan After 6 Years, to be Back in Mumbai Today
Ansari, a 33-year-old Mumbai resident, was lodged in the Peshawar Central Jail after being sentenced by the military court on December 15, 2015.
Hamid Nehal Ansari was arrested in Pakistan in 2012 for illegally entering the country from Afghanistan, reportedly to meet a girl he had befriended online. (Image: Facebook)
Islamabad: Indian national Hamid Nehal Ansari was on Tuesday released from a Pakistani jail to be repatriated to India, six years after he was detained by the country's intelligence agencies and subsequently sentenced to three years' imprisonment for possessing a fake Pakistani identity card, according to a media report.
Ansari, a 33-year-old Mumbai resident, was lodged in the Peshawar Central Jail after being sentenced by the military court on December 15, 2015. 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, the Peshawar High Court gave the federal government a month deadline to complete his repatriation process. The Indian national was released from Mardan jail on Tuesday and was shifted to Islamabad for his onward journey to India, state-run Radio Pakistan reported.
Ansari went missing after he was taken into custody by Pakistani intelligence agencies and local police in Kohat in 2012 and finally in reply to a habeas corpus petition filed by his mother, Fauzia Ansari, the high court was informed that he was in custody of the Pakistan Army and was being tried by a military court.
The fact that Hamid Ansari was in detention only came to light when a young Pakistani journalist reported about him and started following his case that turned out to be a real-life 'Veer-Zaara' gone horribly wrong.
It was only then in 2015 that Pakistan admitted to having Ansari in their custody. He was summarily put through proceeds in a military court as he was accused of espionage despite his family, back in India, crying helplessly that their son had probably crossed over from Afghanistan to meet a woman he befriended online and then fell in love with.
It's been an uphill task for the family and the authorities in getting Ansari back. Ninety-six requests for consular access were rejected by Pakistan. Over the past six years, the only status update that the Indian authorities had was a "very brief" telephonic conversation that was allowed by the Pakistani authorities between his mother and him last year in November after much pressure from the Ministry of External Affairs, said a source.
Sources, whom News18 spoke with, also noted with much regret that despite Hamid Ansari having already stayed three years in confinement from 2012 to 2015, the opaque military court did not take into consideration his time already spent in prison. He was awarded a three-year jail term in December, 2015 and ended up spending a total of six years in prison. One source pointed out that he was moved from a Peshawar jail to one in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa recently.
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