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Hamid Nihal Ansari release: India hopes Pakistan will free more of its nationals

Speaking on Ansari's release, MEA said that it is a great relief for his family members who have been waiting for the last six years.

Hamid Nihal Ansari release: India hopes Pakistan will free more of its nationals

New Delhi: Following the release of Indian prisoner Hamid Nihal Ansari, the Ministry of External Affairs on Monday hoped that Pakistan will also free other Indian nationals who have completed their sentences and are lodged in the neighbouring country's jail.

Speaking on Ansari's release, MEA said that it is a great relief for his family members who have been waiting for the last six years. "It's a matter of great relief, especially for family members, that six years of incarceration is coming to an end," MEA said.

"We would like Pakistan to take action to also end the misery of other Indian nationals and fishermen whose nationality has been confirmed and who've completed their sentences but continue to languish in Pakistan jails. We hope Pakistan would respond and organise an early visit of Joint Judicial Committee so that issues of prisoners can be dealt with in a humanitarian and timely manner," the Ministry added.

Earlier in the day, Pakistan released Hamid Nihal Ansari, who was detained by the country's intelligence agencies in 2012. He was sentenced to three years' imprisonment by a military court in 2015 for possessing a fake Pakistani identity card.

Ansari, a 33-year-old Mumbai resident, was lodged in the Peshawar Central Jail after being sentenced by the military court on December 15, 2015. His three-year jail term ended on December 15, 2018.

Ansari went 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. 

He entered Pakistan from Afghanistan, reportedly to meet a girl he had befriended online.

(With inputs from agencies)