Pakistan's Government Told To Release Indian Man Jailed By Military Court

Pakistan's Government Told To Release Indian Man Jailed By Military Court

PESHAWAR: A top court in Pakistan on Thursday gave a one-month deadline to the federal government to complete formalities to deport Indian prisoner Hamid Nihal Ansari, whose three-year jail term will end on December 15.

Hamid Nihal Ansari, a 33-year-old Mumbai resident, is currently in Peshawar Central Jail after being sentenced by a military court to three years' imprisonment for allegedly possessing a fake Pakistani identity card on December 15, 2015.

He was arrested reportedly from Pakistan in 2012 and accused of illegally entering the country from Afghanistan, to meet a girl he had befriended online.

A two-judge Peshawar High Court bench, comprising Justice Roohul Amin and Justice Qalandar Ali Khan, on Thursday heard an appeal filed by Hamid Ansari through a senior lawyer. The petition said that the federal government hasn't taken any steps for his release.

Hamid Ansari's lawyer, Qazi Muhammad Anwar, said that his client's prison term will end on December 15 and he should be released on the morning of December 16.

Mr Anwar informed the bench that the sentence of the 33-year-old would complete after two days and both the Ministry of Interior (Pakistan) and authorities of the prison, where he 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 additional attorney general informed the court that documents for 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 arrangements within a month for releasing and deportation of Hamid Ansari.

Pakistan's deputy attorney general recorded his statement on behalf of the interior ministry and said that Hamid Ansari would be handed over to Indian authorities at Wagah border after completion of his term.

Hamid Nihal Ansari had gone missing after he was arrested by Pakistani intelligence agencies in 2012.