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Pakistani languishes in Indian jail, blames Islamabad

Source: PTI
September 02, 2005 02:02 IST
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A Pakistani national, arrested on espionage charges, is languishing in an Indian jail for the past 15 years despite completing his sentence and blames Islamabad for not doing anything to seek his repatriation.

"Pakistan seemed reluctant to seek my repatriation despite numerous reminders by the India government," Muktyar Ahmed, arrested in December 1989 by the Border Security Force, told PTI from Amritsar Central Jail.
The 48-year-old was arrested on charges of espionage besides carrying opium.

After a trial lasting two years, Ahmed was found guilty and sentenced to imprisonment for seven years. After completing his sentence, he is now languishing in jail here.

"Even the Pakistan high commission never bothered to take up my case for consular access despite repeated requests by the Indian government," he said adding he had completed the sentence in 1997.

He holds no grudges against the Indian government. He says, "On my request, New Delhi put my case in the list of foreign nationals who after completion of their sentences are released subject to acceptance by their governments."

"A Pakistani team met me after completing verification of my antecedents. But I was not called for interview as the team did not have required papers due to which I was left out," Ahmed, a resident of Lahore, said.

Married in 1982, Ahmed had two sons and a daughter. "My children are of marriageable age. My elder son has vowed not to marry till I return home," he said with tears rolling down his cheeks.                                      
Ahmed, who regularly wrote to his family till last year, said his family had put up his case before Pakistan Human Rights Chairperson Asma Jahangir "but nothing concrete came out".

He said his family in an attempt to see him tried to get visa, but Indian government's stand not to permit visa to Pakistani nationals in the 1990s put paid to their hopes.

Ahmed, who is dependent on jail officials for basic necessities, is very particular about his Namaaz and offers prayers five times a day.

Amritsar Central Jail Superintendent Captain S P Singh said Ahmed had completed his sentence but "Pakistan is not taking up his case for reasons best known to it".

He said, "Unless the Pakistan government accepts his repatriation, he could not be released."

Mohammad Yusuf, 94, a Pakistan national, died in the Amritsar jail in August 2001 as Islamabad refused to seek his repatriation, jail sources said. Yusuf was arrested in 1990 under the Official Secrets Act and had got an eight-year sentence.

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