The mother of an Indian engineer Hamid Ansari, who was sentenced to three years imprisonment for entering into Pakistan from Afghanistan, has filed a formal appeal to President Mamnoon Hussain to remit the remaining period of her son’s prison term.
Hamid Ansari, a Mumbai resident had landed illegally in the neighboring country Pakistan to meet a girl whom he befriended through Facebook.
In a letter to Mr. Hussain, the mother of Hamid Ansari said: “Mohtaram Sadar – your government has shown clemency to foreign nationals who have committed far graver offenses than Hamid Ansari.
“The country’s credit for listening to humanitarian calls will go up and the chances of relief for Pakistani citizens in Indian prisons might improve if you could remit the remaining period of Hamid’s prison term.”
She said the period of Ansari’s detention (three years) before the conviction should be counted as sentence served, and that he should be released on humanitarian grounds or at least be allowed to talk to his family members on the phone.
The Indian national was tried in a military court and was awarded three years’ rigorous imprisonment that started from December 15, 2015 and will end on December 14, 2018. Ansari had suffered injuries after he was attacked by inmates in the Peshawar Central prison last year.
Arrested for helping a Pakistani Girl
According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, Hamid Ansari is an assistant professor at an Indian management institute who became befriended a girl from Kohat (in Kyber Pakhtaunkhawa province of Pakistan) through Facebook.
“When she feared the denial of her rights, he decided to come to her rescue. He could not get a Pakistan visa but was able to fly to Afghanistan and enter Pakistan, though without valid papers. He was arrested from a hotel in Kohat on November 14, 2012.
“Thus, for five years he has been in the custody of the Pakistani authorities. Charged with espionage and not with illegal entry into Pakistan, he was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment by a military court,” says rights activist I.A. Rehman.
“There is no doubt that Hamid Ansari committed an offense but his motives, love or a desire to help a woman in distress, are strong mitigating circumstances. He has already suffered enough for his naivete,” he said and demanded his immediate release.