'Love struck' Indian techie walks home from Pak jail

It was an emotional reunion with his parents when 33-year-old Hamid Nehal Ansari, an Indian software engineer, entered India through Punjab's  Wagah-Attari border with Pakistan, after six years on Tuesday evening.

He had languished for years in a Pakistani jail after being caught while entering the neighbouring country and being charged with "spying".

As soon as he entered, he hugged his parents - Nehal and Fauzia Ansari - and all three knelt, bowed down to touch the Indian soil in reverence.

His brother, Dr Khalid Ansari, too was there to receive him.

On Monday, Hamid was released after completion of his prison term and repatriated to India.

On Wednesday, he is expected to visit New Delhi and then after a brief stopover would proceed for Mumbai. A resident of Jogeshwari western suburbs of India, he had entered Pakistan in 2012.

Love gone wrong

Ansari’s story is of love gone wrong, for which he had to pay a price. Ansari’s parents and family members waited with bated breath at the border. As Hamid walked his way from Pakistan, he hugged his mother tightly. Tears rolled down his father’s eyes as he stood speechless. 

As the family walked further away from the Pakistan border, Hamid’s mother Fauzia kept her hands tightly wrapped in her son’s arm refusing to let go of him. As she choked out of emotion, Hamid gave her water to drink. Hamid was then taken by the authorities concerned for necessary questioning and documentation.

The Mumbai resident was arrested by agencies in Pakistan in 2012 after he allegedly entered northwest Pakistan illegally to meet a woman he befriended online. He was tried by a military court and given a three-year sentence for possessing a fake Pakistani identity card on December 15, 2015.

Panacea

Hamid’s release comes close on the heels of the opening of the Kartarpur corridor with Pakistan, viewed as a panacea for the animosity between the two nations. The techie went missing after being reportedly taken into custody in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa area. His mother had filed a habeas corpus petition through Pakistani lawyers after details of his whereabouts emerged.

For the sake of his love, Hamid went to Pakistan without a visa. He forged documents to enter Pakistan. His mother said, Hamid’s release is a victory for humanity. The ministry of external affairs had raised the issue of Ansari in a formal communication sent to Pakistan on December 11 amid apprehensions that he would be held for a longer period.

"Finally Hamid arrived...," Jatin Desai, general secretary, Pakistan-India Peoples' Forum for Peace and Democracy (PIPFPD), told DH over phone from the border.

"The parents' resolve and patience was one of the major aspects....their prayers have been answered," he added.

Hamid, who had gone to Kabul, Afghanistan for a job interview in November 2012 was befriended on Facebook and got close to a Pakistani girl.

Hamid was believed to have reached Kohat in Pakistan in an attempt to save this Facebook friend, who reportedly was being forced to marry someone twice her age following a Jirga decision.

Hamid crossed over from Afghanistan border in Jalalabad to Peshawar, Pakistan - where he was caught by the Pakistani agencies.

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'Love struck' Indian techie walks home from Pak jail

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