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64-year-old Pak woman released from Amritsar jail after 12 years

Nasreen, the sisters, Fathima and Mumtaz, and two others, Rashida Bibi and Rashid, were arrested for drug trafficking at the Attari Railway Station in May 2016

punjab Updated: Jun 19, 2018 22:00 IST
Anil Sharma
Anil Sharma
Hindustan Times, Amritsar
Pak woman,Amritsar jail,Lahore
Pakistani woman Nasreen Akhtar leaving for Pakistan from Amritsar Central Jail on Tuesday. (Sameer Sehgal/HT)

Eight months after two Pakistani sisters were released in November 2017 after serving 10 years in a local jail for drug trafficking, their 64-year-old accomplice, Nasreen Akhtar, was also freed from jail and handed over to Pakistan on Tuesday. Nasreena’s 90-year-old mother eagerly awaits her in Lahore.

In May 2006, Nasreen, the sisters, Fathima and Mumtaz, and two others, Rashida Bibi and Rashid, were arrested for trafficking for drugs at the Attari Railway Station. The five Pakistanis were sentenced to ten years in jail and fined ₹4 lakh each. They were unable to pay the fine and their jail terms were extended though their sentence ended in 2016.

Nasreen’s counsel Navjot Kaur Chabha said, “Nasreen’s relatives had not paid her fine. Thus, she had to undergo two more years in jail up to November 2018. The Pakistan embassy paid ₹3 lakh fine for Nasreen and she has been repatriated.” Rashid remains in jail.

Over the past few months, the Pakistan media had raised the voice of Nasreen’s 90-year-old ailing mother and her wish to see her daughter once before she died.

Nasreen came out of Amritsar Central Jail at 11.30am in a wheel-chair. Greeting all those present with a Sat Sri Akal, she said, “My mother is 90-year-old and it is her wish to see me before dying. I am very happy that I will meet my mother.” She added, “There should always be peace in between both the countries.” The BSF handed her over to Pakistani Rangers about 2pm.

Amritsar jail superintendent Arshdeep Singh Gill said, “With Nasreen, we have also released another Pakistani prisoner, Aftab, who was arrested under the Passport Act, 1967. We have also given ₹50,500 to Nasreen for her labour work in jail.” He added there were around 45 Pakistani prisoners in Indian jails.

Chabha added there were a number of Indian prisoners in Pakistan and many Pakistani prisoners in India, who had completed their sentences, but could not be repatriated as they could not pay the fines imposed on them. “NGOs of both countries should come forth to help such prisoners,” she added.

First Published: Jun 19, 2018 19:04 IST