Hamid Nihal Ansari, a 33-year old Mumbai native who had been under the custody of Pakistani authorities since 2012, has been released following intense diplomatic pressure from India, as reported by The New Indian Express.
Ansari had been caught by Pakistani Intelligence and local police in 2012 in the town of Kohat, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa after entering Pakistan through the border with Afghanistan, apparently with the intent of meeting with a girl he had become friends with online.
Afterwards, he was tried and sentenced to imprisonment by a Military court on 15 December 2015 and since then he had been incarcerated in Peshawar Central Jail.
Ansari’s family became aware of his military trial and detention after filing a Habeas Corpus petition before the Peshawar High Court.
The Indian government had sent a total of 96 notes verbales to Pakistan through diplomatic channels seeking consular access to Ansari. India had upped the ante recently on his release and repatriation as his prison term was officially coming to an end on Sunday (16 December 2018).
Although Ansari has managed to be released from prison, he has as of yet not been repatriated to India as his legal documents are not in order yet.
On Thursday (13 December 2018), the Peshawar High Court had directed Pakistan’s Federal Government to ensure that Ansari was repatriated to India within one month.
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