After spending six years in Pakistani jail, freed Indian Hamid Ansari meets Sushma Swaraj
New Delhi, Dec 19: Indian national Hamid Nehal Ansari who had been languishing in Pakistani jails for over six years returned home to India on Tuesday. He was handed over to Indian authorities at the Wagah-Attari border.
Ansari knelt in reverence after crossing the border. Hamid's emotional mother Fauzia Ansari had earlier said she kept thanking God and everyone who played a part in her son's release.
"Mera Bharat mahaan, meri madam mahaan, sab madam ne hi kiya hai (My India is great, my madam is great. You did everything)," Ansari's mother Fauzia was heard telling the minister in a video of the meeting released by news agency ANI.
Swaraj hugged Fauzia as she comforted the sobbing mother and told Ansari he had faced a difficult time.
Hamid Nehal Ansari, 33, was greeted by his family and many officials at the Wagah border. After entering India, he and his family knelt down and touched the soil with their foreheads. In an emotional reunion, his parents, Nehal and Fauzia, hugged their weary-looking son. An official then handed him a bottle of water.
Islamabad had alleged that Mr Ansari was an "Indian spy" who illegally entered Pakistan and accused him of being involved in anti-state crimes, forging documents.
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.
Besides Ansari's father Nehal, mother Fauzia and relatives, a number of India-Pakistan friendship activists, officials and politicians will be present at the border to welcome him.
Ansari had gone missing after he was taken into custody by Pakistani intelligence agencies and local police in Kohat in 2012 and finally in reply to a habeas corpus petition filed by his mother, Fauzia Ansari, the high court was informed that he was in custody of the Pakistan Army and was being tried by a military court.