Islamabad: Pakistan`s Supreme Court has
asked the government to respond to a petition asking it to
direct authorities to take steps for the early release of
Pakistani scientist Khaleel Chishti, who has been languishing
in an Indian jail for nearly 20 years.
The petition, filed by leading lawyer Syed Iqbal
Haider on behalf of Chishti`s daughter Shoa Jawaid, All
Pakistan Women`s Association and Legal Aid Call Centre, asked
the apex court to ask the government to make diplomatic
efforts for the release and repatriation of the 78-year-old
scientist on humanitarian grounds.
After hearing Haider yesterday, a three-judge bench
headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry decided to admit the
petition for hearing and issued notices that asked the
secretaries of the Interior and Foreign Ministries to submit
their responses by June 15.
The petition asked the Supreme Court to consider
making a request to the Indian President and Prime Minister
and the Governor of Rajasthan state to order the release and
repatriation of Chishti after remitting his sentence.
In this regard, the petition referred to the Indian
apex court`s request to the President of Pakistan that
resulted in the release of Indian prisoner Gopal Das, who was
repatriated earlier this year.
Chishti did his PhD from Edinburg University in
Scotland. He also holds a degree in biology from the London
He worked as a professor in universities in Karachi,
Saudi Arabia, Nigeria and Iran.