The Pakistan Supreme Court has rejected a petition asking it to request the Indian president, prime minister and governor of Rajasthan state for the release of a Pakistani national currently detained in Ajmer district.
Educationist and scientist Saiyyad Muhammad Khaleel Chishti has been in the central prison of Ajmer for the last 19 years, according to the Daily Times.
In 1992, Chishti went to India to visit his ailing mother but was reportedly implicated in a murder case. He was released on bail but his mobility was confined to Ajmer district and he was not allowed to return to Pakistan since then.
In December 2010, he was sentenced to life imprisonment by a lower court in India.
A three-judge bench of the Pakistan Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry Wednesday observed that the Foreign Office had already been making efforts for the release and repatriation of Chishti.
The court was hearing a petition filed by Chishti's daughter Shoa Jawaid.
"We (judges) don't have the jurisdiction over a foreign country. We are deciding the question of fundamental rights within our own ambit," Chaudhry told the petitioner's counsel.
The counsel, however, said the Supreme Court of India had requested the Pakistan president for release of Indian national Gopal Dass, who was detained in a Pakistani prison. Dass was later set free.
"The Indian Supreme Court had rightly held that they have no territorial jurisdiction to issue a direction to any authority in Pakistan. But it did not prevent them from making a request to the Pakistani authorities to consider its appeal for release of Gopal Dass on humanitarian grounds by remitting his remaining sentence," the counsel said.