India frees 19 Pakistani prisoners

They had been put in Indian jails on charges ranging from espionage to staying in the country illegally.

By Author  |  Published: 15th May 2019  10:18 amUpdated: 15th May 2019  11:32 am

Amritsar: 19 Pakistani prisoners returned home from the Attari-Wagah border after being released by Indian authorities on Tuesday.

They had been put in Indian jails on charges ranging from espionage to staying in the country illegally.

“I was caught in 2009 without a visa in India. I stayed in the country for four years without a visa and was convicted for 10 years,” Vikas Ahmed, one of the prisoners who was freed after completing his term, said.

“I’d love to come back to India but with due legal procedure this time. No more sneaking around under the wires, I’ll come with a visa again,” he added.

“I’d just like to request the governments of both India and Pakistan to release prisoners of the other nationality from their respective jails,” said Mustaffa, a fisherman, who was released after spending 13 months in an Indian jail.

Both the sides have spruced up efforts in releasing prisoners belonging to the other nation in recent times, with Pakistan recently releasing 60 Indians — including 55 fishermen — at the Wagah border on April 30.

The released Indian citizens had completed their prison term and most of them had served much longer than the sentence awarded by Pakistani courts.

India had sent a note verbale to Pakistan on April 9, urging it to make necessary arrangements for immediate release and repatriation of Indian prisoners who had completed their jail term.