Hamid Ansari’s mother Fauzia Ansari, center, along with her husband Nehal Ansari, second right, and elder son Dr. Khalid Ansari, second left, speak to the media ahead of their relative’s deportation from Pakistan. Narinder Nanu—AFP
Hamid Nehal Ansari was arrested in 2012 and convicted for spying and forging documents in 2015
A lovestruck Indian man who spent years in jail for spying after traveling to meet a woman in Pakistan will return home on Tuesday, the Pakistani foreign ministry said.
Hamid Nehal Ansari illegally crossed into Pakistan from Afghanistan in 2012, and was convicted for spying and forging documents in 2015. He told court officials that he came to the country to see a girl he befriended on Facebook in the country’s north, his lawyer Qazi Muhammad Anwar told AFP. But police were waiting for him at the woman’s house and arrested him on the spot, Anwar said.
“Ansari has been released from the prison today at 7:25 a.m. and is right now in Lahore [waiting] to cross the border in to India,” Anwar added.
A Pakistani foreign ministry official said Ansari is expected to return to India through an overland border crossing near Lahore on Tuesday afternoon.
Indian authorities confirmed the release. “It is a matter of great relief, especially for the family members, that six years of incarceration of the Indian civilian in Pakistan jail is coming to an end,” the Indian foreign ministry said.
Rivals Pakistan and India have fought three major wars since independence from Britain in 1947. They routinely arrest each other’s citizens on spying charges.