Parents of the Mumbai engineer jailed in Pakistan for alleged espionage have requested authorities in the neighbouring country to show compassion and release him on humanitarian grounds.
“I appeal to Indian and Pakistani governments to see the case of my son with compassion and above politics,” said Fauzia Ansari, mother of 31-year-old engineering and management graduate, Hamid Ansari.
Hamid has been sentenced to jail for three years by a Pakistani court.
Ansari had crossed over illegally to Pakistan from Afghanistan in 2012, reportedly to meet a girl he had befriended online and then went missing. He was later arrested and tried by a Pakistani military court that pronounced him guilty of espionage.
Ansari’s parents had filed a Habeas Corpus petition in a Pakistani court when they found out that their son was in the custody of the Pakistan Army, in January.
He was convicted on Sunday in Kohat, a city in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan, and was shifted to the Peshawar Central Prison.
“On January 13, we came to know that our son was alive and was in Pakistan Army’s custody and was facing a trial. We were hopeful that finally we will be able to get him back safe and sound. But the recent development came as a jolt to us and we will have to wait for more time to get our son back to India,” said 55-year-old Fauzia.
“We are not giving up hope. We have faith in god. We have faith in the Indian government and judiciary and we will do all that is possible from our side to get him back safely,” said Fauzia, who recently underwent an ankle surgery after she met with an accident.
“We are confident that both governments will agree that a human life is precious and an educated young man like him should not suffer in a Pakistani jail,” she said.
“I am not sure what crime my son has committed. According to his Facebook chats with his friends from Pakistan before he went missing, he crossed over to Pakistan to help a girl who was the victim of a social evil,” said Fauzia, who is a Hindi lecturer in a junior college in Mumbai.
Ansari’s father, Nehal Ahmed Ansari (59), is a retired bank manager and elder brother, Khalid Ansari (32), is a dental surgeon.