The Indian authorities have decided to reciprocate the goodwill gesture of Pakistan by releasing a Pakistani man languishing in Indian prison for over a decade after he fell “in love in India and forgot the date of expiry of his visa”.
The Pakistani High Commission in New Delhi and relatives of the Pakistani man, Imran Warsi, were informed by the Indian authorities on Saturday that he will soon be freed and sent back to Pakistan. Time and date of the release are yet to be finalised.
The decision comes after Indian spy Hamid Nehal Ansari was repatriated on completion of his jail term by the Pakistani authorities. The Pakistani mission in New Delhi and different rights groups have played a key role in Warsi’s likely release.
Warsi’s story is similar to that of Ansari who was recently released by Pakistan and sent back to India after he served six years in a jail on espionage charges. Both had wandered off across the border for love.
Pakistan national Imran Qureshi Warsi who was lodged in Bhopal jail for 10 years on being released: Police treated me very well, just like a family. I found loving people here the same way there are loving people in Pakistan. I believe good people find good people everywhere. pic.twitter.com/MMXurcHTrR
— ANI (@ANI) December 22, 2018
According to Indian media, Warsi had come to India in 2004 on a 45-day visa to meet his relatives in Kolkata. However, he fell in love with an Indian woman and married her soon after. The couple had two children, even as Warsi’s visa had expired long before.
In 2008, Warsi illegally acquired some official documents and came to Bhopal to get a passport made.
He was arrested by the Bhopal police during this time and presented before a local court, which sentenced him to 10 years in jail and imposed a fine of Rs. 8,000 on him.
Warsi’s sentence ended in March this year, but he has been forced to live at the Shahjahanabad Police Station since then awaiting completion of legal formalities.
“We have to send Warsi to the Wagah border by December 26 where he will be handed over to Pakistani officials after completion of legal work,” Shahjahanabad City Superintendent of Police Nagendra Kumar Pateriya said.
Office of the District Foreign Registration Officer Dharmveer Yadav has sent a letter and other documents to the Shahjahanabad police station to facilitate the repatriation of Warsi.
Pakistani national Imran Qureshi Warsi lodged in Bhopal jail since 10 years for forging documents and spying to be released after the completion of his sentence. He will return to Pakistan on 26th December from Attari-Wagah border. pic.twitter.com/B7277BMsSE
— ANI (@ANI) December 22, 2018
Even though he is not under detention, Warsi has been unable to leave the police station, for lack of official documents. Police officials provide him with food and other necessities. He sleeps inside the police station during the night, officials say.
“After falling in love in India, I forgot the date of expiry of my visa,” Mr Warsi told news agency ANI. “The police treated me very well, just like a family. I found loving people here the same way there are loving people in Pakistan. I believe good people find good people everywhere,” he added.
Warsi said after going back to Pakistan, he will take the legal course to get his wife and children shifted to his home country.