New Delhi, Dec 17 (PTI) India issued a total of 96 note verbales to Pakistan seeking consular access to Indian prisoner Hamid Nihal Ansari and the decision to release him was on account of relentless pressure from New Delhi, official sources said.

Ansari, a 33-year-old Mumbai resident, was lodged in the Peshawar Central Jail after being sentenced by a military court on December 15, 2015. He was released from a Pakistani prison after a court-mandated jail-term came to an end. Though his jail term ended last week, 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.

Official sources said 96 note verbales were issued to Pakistan seeking consular access and clarity on the charges against him, on which India received no satisfactory response, the sources said.

They said considering that his jail term was coming to an end on December 16, India upped the ante at multiple levels in the preceding weeks, seeking to ensure Ansari’s release and quick repatriation to India.

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.

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

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.