Kulbhushan verdict gives hope to another family with son in Pak jail

22 May 2017

Encouraged by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) stay on the hanging of Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav by Pakistan, the parents of another Indian national languishing in a Pakistan jail for more than four years have come forward to ask Pakistan to free their son.

"I had met Sushma Swarajji (India's foreign minister) earlier this year, and she said that she was treating Hamid's case as priority. I obviously understand that Kulbhushan is a death row convict, and the immediacy in his case is much more. But now, after the international court's verdict, I'm certain that authorities will help us too. Of course they will help us. Why won't they?" Fauzia Ansari, the mother of Hamid Ansari, was quoted by Firstpost as saying.

Reports say that Hamid, a 31-year-old engineer from Mumbai, had left home in 2012, telling his parents that he had found a job in Afghanistan. He told them that he had landed in Kabul, after which they lost contact with him.

The Indian Express had reported about a year ago that the family later found, through officials and associated that Ansari was in love with a woman from the Kohat region of western Pakistan. The police had said that he was convinced by his friend that he could gain entry in the country from Afghanistan.

After three years of desperately looking for her son, Fauzia realised he had been arrested in Pakistan and had been convicted of espionage. He is in a prison in Peshawar.

India Today had reported that the Peshawar High Court had granted Ansari visitation rights, but he was convicted to three years' jail.

However, after completion of his three year sentence in prison, Fauzia has still not been able to meet her son.

An emotional and teary eyed Fauzia told Firstpost that they had applied for a Pakistan visa 30 to 35 times but their application was rejected. She said that the high court dismissed their petition that had argued that their son had already served three years in military custody, saying that they did not have jurisdiction over military courts.

Other reports say that while even the government of India has approached Pakistan over the matter several times, it has not got a response. Hamid's parents have found a lawyer in Islamabad to file a case in Pakistan's Supreme Court.

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