Indian national, Hamid Nehal Ansari, whose jail term ended on December 15 in Pakistan, was released by the authorities on December 17. He will be home via Wagah-Attari border and be will handed over to the Indian authorities on December 18.
The 33-year-old Mumbai resident then spent three years in a jail and was lodged in the Peshawar Central Jail after being sentenced for three years by a military court on December 15, 2015. The secret military court had convicted him of espionage and anti-state activities, charges that Ansari denied in his petition to the Peshawar High Court.
Foreign Office spokesperson Dr. Mohammed Faisal said, “Hamid Nehal Ansari, an Indian spy who had illegally entered Pakistan and was involved in anti-state crimes and forging of documents, is being released upon completion of his sentence and is being repatriated to India.”
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Justice Roohul Amin and Justice Qalandar Ali Khan formed the two-judge Peshawar High Court bench, which heard an appeal filed by Ansari through a senior lawyer. The petition questioned why the federal government had not taken any steps for his release. Ansari’s lawyer, Qazi Mohammed Anwar, said that his client’s prison term ends on December 15 and he should be released on the morning of December 16.
Following this, the Peshawar High Court has granted the government a month to complete his repatriation process. Until Ansari is handed over to the Indian authorities in January at the Wagah border, he will be kept at an internment centre.
The Indian chapter of The Pakistan India People’s Forum for Peace and Democracy (PIPFPD), in a press statement, said: “We believe that Hamid Ansari’s immediate release will send a positive message as it will come in the background of the opening up of the Kartarpur Corridor.”
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"It's a matter of great relief, especially for family members that six years of incarceration is coming to an end. We would like Pakistan to take action to end the misery of other Indian nationals and fishermen also, whose nationality has been confirmed and who have completed their sentences, but continue to languish in Pakistan jails,” the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.