President writes letter to Indian Prime Minister requesting Dr Chisty's release

Published: April 13, 2012

80-year-old virologist had been serving life term in prison since January last year. After spending 19 years as an under trial prisoner. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari has appealed to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to release octogenarian Pakistani scientist Dr Khalil Chishty and allow his repatriation to Pakistan on humanitarian grounds.

The President’s spokesperson, Senator Farhatullah Babar said on Friday that the President made the appeal in a personal letter addressed to the Indian Prime Minister. The letter was dispatched to the Indian Prime Minister via the Pakistan’s High Commission in New Delhi.

Senator Babar said that the President had earlier taken up this matter with Manmohan Singh during his recent trip to India.

Earlier in the week, the Supreme Court of India had approved Dr Chishty’s application for bail. The court had further directed Dr Chishty’s counsel to write an application addressed to the court for the octogenarian virologist’s repatriation to Pakistan.

The President’s letter further said that this gesture would add momentum to the good will generated after resumption of the Composite Dialogue between the two countries.

Following is the complete text of the letter:

“Excellency

“Allow me to express my profound thanks for your kind hospitality
extended to me, to Bilawal and my entourage during our brief stay in
New Delhi. The sumptuous lunch provided us an opportunity to discuss many issues of mutual interest.

Excellency, during the course of our meeting, my Interior Minister,
A. Rehman Malik broached the subject of Dr Khalil Chishti’s
prolonged incarceration in India with H.E. P. Chindambaram,
Honourable Home Minister of India. I also beseech your indulgence on this issue.

I understand that the mercy petition filed by Dr Chishti is pending with the Government of India.

In view of Dr Chisti’s advanced age and his precarious health
condition, may I request Your Excellency to intervene in the matter
and allow Dr Chisti’s release and repatriation to Pakistan on
humanitarian grounds. Your kind gesture would add momentum to the good will generated after resumption of the Composite Dialogue between the two countries.

Please accept, Excellency, the assurance of my highest consideration.”

ASIF ALI ZARDARI

Reader Comments (4)

  • Lone Star
    Apr 13, 2012 - 9:15PM

    Nice gesture from both sides, I hope we keep the momentum and be able to resolve all issues. And the only way to fail Hafiz Saeed and ilks from spreading hatred.

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  • Indian
    Apr 14, 2012 - 2:40AM

    Peace for all

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  • Mirza
    Apr 14, 2012 - 8:45AM

    That is why secular democracy is never allowed to work in Pakistan. A friendly religious visit is offering peace dividends. One wonders only if ZAB’s elected govt was allowed to work by the mullah/military/judiciary alliance, Pakistan would not be at the mercy of Zia and his terrorist friends.

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  • ajit singh
    May 4, 2012 - 11:40PM

    I am happy that the Supreme Court has responded to Dr. Chisty’s plea on compassionate grounds. If the court deems it fit, he may be released and returned to his family. A family reunion is a wonderful thing for the family that has suffered in silence. While the majority of India will, no doubt, see this as a reprieve for the prisoner, who has paid the price, would God-fearing and decent Pakistanis, like their counterparts in India, raise their voice against the barbaric phenomenon of kidnapping minor girls from the minority groups, mainly Hindus, and forcing them to marry, against their will, to some Muslim and selecting Islam as their religion of “free choice”. I would appeal to all good people in Pakistan, who respect decency and who fear God, to urgently do something about this absolutely barbaric practice which is totally incompatible with the tenets of human dignity and decency. Pakistan, for those who are unaware, is already branded a quasi terrorist state, thanks to the religious extremism that is spreading. Forced conversions, as it is thrust upon minorities, will open yet another can of worms for Pakistan and its nationals. Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and other NGOs are already talking about it and will probably take this matter with the UN and other institutions to highlight the unholy practice in the name of Islam.

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