A fortnight after the Pakistan Army accepted that Indian citizen Hamid Nehal Ansari was in their ‘custody’ and is an ‘undertrial’, his mother Fauzia met External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, requesting the minister to take up the case with her counterparts in Pakistan on “humanitarian grounds”.
Swaraj, who was in Mumbai on Friday, met Hamid’s parents and assured to ‘relook’ into the case, the family claimed.
“It was a brief meeting. I requested her if I could talk to my son over the phone whenever an official from the High Commission plans to meet Hamid,” Fauzia told The Indian Express. “She (Sushma) could see the pain in my eyes and responded with a warm hug and assured me that she would look into the matter. She told me that her ministry was aware of the case,” Fauzia added.
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Since the “disappearance” of her son in November 2012, Fauzia, a teacher by profession, had been running from pillar to post to know the whereabouts of her son. While the January order by the Peshawar High Court brought some kind of closure for the Ansari household, a fresh struggle to prove their son’s innocence is now the only pursuit of Hamid’s aging parents. Hamid’s father, Nehal is an advocate, who practices at Bombay High Court. “My son has not committed any crime. He just went there to help a friend. If he has entered the country illegally, he should be punished for that, but nothing else,” Fauzia added.
Ansari, then 27, left home on November 5, 2012, saying he was headed to Afghanistan in search of a job. But his family later came to know from officials and associates that he was in love with a woman from the Kohat region of western Pakistan, and had decided to cross over to stop her marriage with another man.
According to police, Ansari was allegedly convinced by friends and contacts in Pakistan that he could enter the country easily from Afghanistan. Indian High Commission officials in Pakistan believe he was arrested for entering the country illegally. “If I manage to get a visa this time, I would be able to see my son. I hope the Indian authorities consider my plea and help me get visa.,” she adds. “I am thirsty and there is a well in front of me but I cannot drink its water,” says Fauzia, claiming that she has applied for a visa for over 20 times.