India grants bail to Chishty; Pak family happy

Leading Pakistani rights activist Ansar Burney too welcomed the Indian Supreme Court`s decision.

Islamabad: The family of 80-year-old Pakistani national Khalil Chishty, currently being held in a jail in Rajasthan, on Monday expressed joy at the Indian Supreme Court`s order for his release on bail.

Chishty`s emotional daughter Shoha told the media that she had seen the news of her father being granted bail on TV.

"We are all very happy. I came home and informed my mother, who offered special prayers of thanksgiving," she said.

His release on bail was "due to God" and efforts by countless Pakistanis and Indians, she said.

Chishty was serving life term in an Ajmer jail in a murder case of 1992.

The family had last met Chishty when it had travelled to Rajasthan in December last year, she added.

She said she and her sister Aamna had written to President Asif Ali Zardari on April 05, before he embarked on a private visit to India, to take up the case of their father with the Indian leadership.

Leading Pakistani rights activist Ansar Burney too welcomed the Indian Supreme Court`s decision and said his NGO would now speed up efforts to try and bring Chishty back to Pakistan.

"On Wednesday, I will go to India to move a new application in the Supreme Court seeking permission for Chishty to come to Pakistan. My trust is ready to give all assurances regarding Chishty so that he can come to Pakistan and spend his remaining days with his family," Burney said.

Chishty`s release on humanitarian grounds would help boost the peace process between India and Pakistan, he said. India`s Supreme Court has also agreed to hear Chishty`s plea to return to Pakistan and asked his lawyers to file a separate petition in this regard.

Chishty has been ailing and is unable to walk without help.

At the time of the incident, Chishty was visiting India to meet relatives and to offer prayers at the Sufi shrine of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti.

In January last year, Chishty was given life imprisonment after an 18-year trial.

After the sentencing, he was detained in Ajmer Jail. Several others convicted in the same case were granted bail.


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