NEW DELHI: Dr Khalil Chishty, the octogenarian Pakistani virologist who had been sentenced to life for committing murder in India, is due to return to Pakistan as soon as Wednesday, on President Asif Ali Zardari’s plane nonetheless.
Express News reported late on Monday that Dr Chishty, who had been allowed by the Indian Supreme Court to travel to Pakistan for a period of six months, has reached the house of his relatives in New Delhi after completing his transfer from Ajmer.
He is expected to file his documents at the Pakistan high commission on Tuesday, May 15, 2012, to complete official requirements for his travel to Karachi.
Chishty had earlier filed an application in the court, seeking that he be permitted to go to Pakistan. The court had asked the Indian government to respond by May 7, indicating it was serious about moving quickly on the matter.
He was visiting his mother in Ajmer in 1992 when he got embroiled into a family feud that led to one his neighbours being shot dead. He has been in Ajmer since, living at his ancestral home during the 18-year trial before being jailed following his conviction in January last year.
Chishty was recently released from the Ajmer Jail in Rajasthan, after being sentenced to a life term in a murder case of 1992. He was set free on April 9 following a direction from the Indian Supreme Court.
The Chishty case was discussed between the authorities of the two countries during President Asif Ali Zardari’s visit to India.
Dr Chishty wants to meet Sarabjeet Singh
Once back in his homeland, Dr Chishty hopes to have a meeting with Sarabjeet Singh, who like the virologist, has spent close to two decades in jail.
Singh, an Indian spy, too was handed a life sentence, however, owing to his age, and receiving the President’s special attention, the Pakistan government was willing to commute it and allow his release.
Pakistan had almost released Singh last August, it was believed the government wanted to time his release with that of Dr Chishty’s, and make a swap of sorts, contributing in improving Pakistan-India ties. However, when the court ruled against Dr Chishty’s release, Singh’s release too was delayed.