India responds over release of alleged spy Hamid Nehal Ansari from Pakistan
ISLAMABAD - India has welcomed the release of Indian national Hamid Nehal Ansari from Pakistan jail.
While welcoming Hamid's release, India 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 have completed their sentences, but continue to languish in Pakistan jails.
"Hamid Nehal Ansari went to Pakistan via Afghanistan after befriending a Pakistani girl whom he fell in love with. He went to Pakistan's Kohat on a fake passport and was arrested by security officials.
Hamid Nehal Ansari's case highlights the case of many Indian and Pakistani nationals languishing in each other's jails. As per India-Pakistan ‘Agreement on Consular Access’ signed on 21 May 2008, Delhi and Islamabad exchange lists of civilian prisoners and fishermen of each country lodged in the jails of the other on 1 January and 1 July of every year.
According to the lists exchanged on 1 July 2018, there were 108 Pakistan fishermen and 249 Pakistan civilian prisoners in India’s custody. Pakistan has acknowledged the custody of 418 fishermen and 53 civilian prisoners who are Indian or believed-to-be Indian in their jails.