Mumbai youth Hamid Nehal Ansari, who was sent to three years’ imprisonment in Pakistan for illegally entering the country in 2012, was released on Monday. The process to repatriate Ansari, who completed his jail term today, is expected to be completed by tomorrow.
Ansari was arrested in Pakistan after he was accused of illegally entering the country from Afghanistan to meet a girl he had befriended online. On December 15, 2015, the 33-year-old Mumbai resident was awarded three years’ imprisonment by a military court for allegedly possessing a fake Pakistani identity card, and was sent to Peshawar Central Jail.
Just In: Mumbai youth Hamid Nehal Ansari, who was in Pakistan’s jail for illegally entering the country in 2012, to be released and repatriated to India. He completed his jail term on Dec 16. Process likely to be completed tomorrow. @IndianExpress
— Shubhajit Roy (@ShubhajitRoy) December 17, 2018
On Thursday, a two-judge Peshawar High Court bench, comprising Justice Roohul Amin and Justice Qalandar Ali Khan, heard an appeal filed by Ansari through a senior lawyer. In his plea, Ansari claimed that the federal government hasn’t taken any steps for his release.
Hamid Ansari’s lawyer, Qazi Muhammad Anwar, said his client’s prison term will end on December 15 and he should be released on the morning of December 16. However, his lawyer claimed, both the Ministry of Interior (Pakistan) and authorities of the prison, where Ansari was lodged, were completely silent about his release and deportation to India.
After hearing this, Justice Khan asked the Additional Attorney General to explain how would they keep the prisoner in jail after completion of his term. “I wonder that after two days the jail term of the prisoner would be completed and the government did not complete requirements for releasing and deportation of the prisoner,” the judge observed after the additional attorney general informed the court that documents for the release and deportation of the prisoner were not ready.
An officer, representing Pakistan’s interior ministry, informed the court that a prisoner could be kept for one month while the legal documents were being prepared.
After knowing the legal position, the court directed the ministry to make all the required arrangements within a month for releasing and deportation of Ansari.
Pakistan’s deputy attorney general recorded his statement on behalf of the interior ministry and said that Ansari would be handed over to Indian authorities at Wagah border after completion of his term.