ISLAMABAD: After serving 12 years in an Amritsar jail, 64-year-old Pakistani woman Nasreen Akhtar was freed and handed over to Pakistan.
India on Tuesday repatriated six Pakistani civil prisoners who arrived home through the Wagah border crossing. The prisoners were handed over to Pakistani authorities in the presence of officials from the Pakistan High Commission.The six prisoners were lodged in various jails, transit camps and juvenile homes in India.
She was awarded 10 years and 6 months sentence along with payment of fine. Pakistan High Commission had paid the fine in January 2018. Nasreen Akhtar was arrested from Attari in May 2006. She was unwell. Her 90 years old mother and children in Pakistan remained worried for their ailing mother. A Pakistani child Haroon Ali had also been repatriated. He was lodged in a juvenile home. He crossed the border while chasing his mentally challenged elder brother.
Haroon was trying to stop his brother from crossing and meeting the BSF Jawans, who, according to him, called his brother. His brother had been repatriated last year. Nasreen came out of Amritsar Central Jail and greeting all those present, 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.”
Amritsar jail superintendent Arshdeep Singh Gill said, “We have also given Rs50,500 [Indian rupee] to Nasreen for her labour work in jail.” He added there were around 45 Pakistani prisoners in Indian jails.
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 three lakh rupees fine for Nasreen and she has been repatriated.”
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.
A message from the Indian capital said The Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi worked closely with the Indian authorities for the release and repatriation of these prisoners. Currently, a total of 52 Pakistani prisoners are in the Indian custody, who have competed their sentences and are awaiting repatriation. They include l5 civil prisoners and 37 fishermen. It is hoped that the remaining 52 persons, including 4 minors, would also be repatriated soon.