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Friday, July 23, 2021

Pakistan releases Indian national Hamid Nihal Ansari from prison: Report

Hamid Ansari went missing after he was taken into custody by Pakistani intelligence agencies in 2012. He entered Pakistan from Afghanistan, reportedly to meet a girl he had befriended online.

By: Express Web Desk | Islamabad |
Updated: December 18, 2018 2:07:00 pm
Pakistan releases Indian national Hamid Nihal Ansari from prison: Report Nehal Hamid Ansari was arrested in 2012; his parents in Mumbai.

Indian national Hamid Nihal Ansari Tuesday was released from a jail in Pakistan, six years after he allegedly entered the neighbouring country illegally, local media reported. Ansari was shifted to Islamabad for his onward journey to India, state-run Radio Pakistan reported.

The Mumbai-based 33-year-old 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.

Read: Hamid’s mother hopes for a brighter sun today

Sources in New Delhi said the Pakistan government did not allow consular access to Ansari in the last six years, despite the Indian government reminding them 96 times through notes verbale. They said Pakistan facilitated one phone call during this period between Ansari and his mother last year. Pakistan claims that Ansari was an “Indian spy who had illegally entered Pakistan and was involved in anti-state crimes and forging documents.”

Ansari, a software engineer, 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. He entered Pakistan from Afghanistan, reportedly to meet a girl he had befriended online.

Sources said the Indian High Commission in Islamabad is making arrangements to bring Ansari to the Wagah border. Ansari’s parents reached Delhi Monday, and are expected to fly to Amritsar to receive him at Wagah.

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