ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Monday released Indian prisoner Hamid Nihal Ansari, who was detained by the country's intelligence agencies in 2012 and afterwards sentenced to three years' imprisonment in 2015 for possessing a fake Pakistani identity card.
33-year-old Mumbai resident Ansari was lodged in the Peshawar Central Jail after being sentenced by the military court on December 15, 2015.
His three-year jail term ended on December 15, 2018, but he was not able to leave for India as his legal documents were not ready.
A two-judge Peshawar High Court bench, including Justice Roohul Amin and Justice Qalandar Ali Khan, on Thursday, heard an appeal filed by Ansari through his lawyer Qazi Muhammad Anwar.
Anwar informed the bench that both the Ministry of Interior and authorities of the prison were completely silent about his release and deportation to India.
Subsequently, Justice Khan asked the Additional Attorney General to explain how would they keep the prisoner in jail after completion of his term.
While answering the question, the officer, who is representing the interior ministry has informed the court that a prisoner could be kept for one month while the legal documents were being prepared.
Following, the Peshawar High Court gave the federal government a month deadline to complete his repatriation process.
"Ansari is being released upon completion of his sentence and is being repatriated to India," Pakistan Foreign Office Spokesperson Mohammad Faisal said.
"Ansari was an Indian spy who had illegally entered Pakistan and was involved in anti-state crimes and forging documents", he claimed.
Earlier, Ansari went missing after he was taken into custody by Pakistani intelligence agencies and local police in Kohat in 2012.
Following, his mother Fauzia Nehal Ahmed Ansari had filed a habeas corpus petition. Finally, in reply to her petition, the high court was informed that he was in custody of the Pakistan Army and was being tried by a military court.
“My son went with noble intentions. He shouldn’t have gone without a visa. His release is a victory for humanity”, says Hamid’s mother Fauzia Ansari
As per the report, he entered Pakistan from Afghanistan, reportedly to meet a girl he had befriended online.
Even though, the Pakistani security agencies claimed that Ansari had used fake identity card in the name of 'Hamza'. He had entered Pakistan without travel documents. So they had charged him for anti-state activities.
With inputs from PTI, ANI