New Delhi: Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar during weekly media briefing in New Delhi on March 15, 2018. (Photo: Video Grab/IANS/MEA)

India relieved at release of Indian prisoner by Pakistan

India on Monday expressed relief at Pakistan’s decision to release on Tuesday an Indian national lodged in a Pakistani jail for six years on alleged espionage charges.

“We have received a note from Pakistan today (Tuesday) that they are releasing Indian national Hamid Nehal Ansari tomorrow,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said in response to media queries.

“It is a matter of great relief, especially for the family members, that six years of incarceration of the Indian civilian in Pakistan jail is coming to an end,” Kumar said.

“We would like Pakistan to take action to also end misery of other Indian nationals and fishermen whose nationality has been confirmed and who have completed their sentences, but continue to languish in Pakistan jails.”

Kumar said India also awaited Pakistan’s response to the visit of Indian medical team to meet mentally unsound prisoners with a view to facilitate their nativity verification and subsequent repatriation.

“We hope that Pakistan would respond and organize an early visit of the Joint Judicial Committee, so that the issues of prisoners can be dealt with in a humanitarian and timely manner,” he said.

Ansari, an engineer and business professional, had gone to Kabul in Afghanistan on November 4, 2012, on a tourist visa for a job in aviation. He entered Pakistan on November 12.

He was in touch with a Pakistani girl on Facebook and had gone to Pakistan, where he was arrested and sentenced to three years in jail.

In 2016, he had to face physical attacks by other prisoners in the Peshawar Central Prison where he was lodged.

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