Chishty issue before court: PC to Pak delegation



New Delhi: The issue of ailing Pakistani microbiologist Khaleel Chishty, lodged in Rajasthan jail, figured on Sunday at the luncheon meeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had with Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari.

Pakistan's Interior Minister Rehman Malik, who was seated opposite Home Minister P Chidambaram at the lunch table, is understood to have inquired about Chishty.

Chidambaram is understood to have said that the Chishty case was before a court which was yet to take a view on the matter.

Chishty was handed a life term on January 31, 2011 by a trial court for a murder in Ajmer in 1992.

Born in Ajmer in a prosperous family of khadims, Chishty was studying in Pakistan at the time of Independence and chose to stay on and become a citizen.

During a visit to Ajmer in 1992 to meet his ailing mother, he got involved in a dispute and, in the melee, one of his neighbours was shot dead and Chishty's nephew was injured.

The sessions court granted him bail a few days after the incident, but ordered him not to leave Ajmer. Chishty lived on his brother's poultry farm till his conviction.

Chishty's case came to light when the then Supreme Court judge Markandeya Katju wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh urging that the Pakistani national be pardoned on humanitarian grounds.

PTI