Islamabad: Indian national Hamid Ansari who is lodged in Kohat Central Jail in Pakistan has been released on Monday, December 17. Ansari’s release came days after a top court gave a one-month deadline to the Pakistani government to complete formalities to deport him. Ansari’s three-year jail term ended on Saturday, December 15.
Foreign Office Spokesperson Mohammad Faisal claimed that Ansari was an “Indian spy who had illegally entered Pakistan.” Ansari, who was “involved in anti-state crimes and forging documents, is being released upon completion of his sentence and is being repatriated to India,” the spokesperson said.
Ansari, a 33-year-old Mumbai resident, was lodged in the Peshawar Central Jail after being sentenced by a military court to three years’ imprisonment for possessing a fake Pakistani identity card on December 15, 2015. He was arrested in Pakistan in 2012 for illegally entering the country from Afghanistan, reportedly to meet a girl he had befriended online.
His jail term ended on December 15 but he was not able to leave for India as his legal documents were not ready. On Thursday, the Peshawar High Court granted the federal government a month deadline to complete his repatriation process.
The External Affairs Ministry had sent a formal diplomat communication to Pakistan on December 11, expressing ‘serious concern’ that the Indian officials have not been granted consular access to Ansari and sought his immediate release after completion of his sentence.
There are at least 11 other Indian prisoners in Pakistani jails who haven’t been released after they completed their sentences and the Indian officials have confirmed their identities.