Family 'speechless' over Indian prisoner's release from Pak

"We are very happy that he will be joining the family soon...I'm speechless. I have no words to express our happiness," Gopal's brother Anant Vir said. "All these years, we were hearing about him from other Indian prisoners who were released from Pakistan. Sometimes, he also managed to send messages, or talked to us on phone," Vir said.

Das's release comes days ahead of a visit to India by Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani to watch the cricket World Cup semi-final featuring the teams of the two countries.

A two-judge bench of the Supreme Court had earlier this month appealed to the Pakistan government to remit the remaining period of Das' sentence and release him on humanitarian grounds.

Welcoming the decision, noted film maker Mahesh Bhatt said, "It was a pathbreaking order of the Supreme Court which seems to have struck the right chord with the authorities in Pakistan. We wholeheartedly welcome as that would only bolster the friendship between the two countries."

He also said that the move would only give an impetus to the forthcoming Home Secretary-level talks between the two countries.

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