Homecoming: Amid 'Jeay Bhutto' slogans, Dr Khalil Chishty returns to Pakistan

Published: May 15, 2012

Dr Khalil Chishty is showered with rose petals as he exits the Islamabad airport. PHOTO: MUHAMMAD JAVAID/EXPRESS

Chishti was received by Federal Minister of Interior Rehman Malik at the air port. PHOTO: EXPRESS/MOHAMMAD JAVAID Dr Khalil Chishty is showered with rose petals as he exits the Islamabad airport. PHOTO: MUHAMMAD JAVAID/EXPRESS

NEW DELHI: After spending twenty years in Indian jails, a frail looking, teary eyed Dr Khalil Chishty was wheeled off the President’s special plane, and on to Pakistani soil.

Dr Chishty, who was allowed by the Indian Supreme Court on humanitarian basis to visit Pakistan, was flown from New Delhi to Islamabad  aboard the President’s special plane. He was received by Federal Minister of Interior Rehman Malik at the air port.

Speaking to media men, he thanked President Zardari for his efforts in bringing him back to Pakistan, before being driven away in Malik’s car.

According to human rights activist, Ansar Burney, Dr Chishty will meet with the President and the Prime Minister in the morning, before returning to Karachi on Wednesday evening.

Earlier, the octogenarian Pakistani virologist arrived in Delhi from Ajmer – where he spent 20 years in incarceration – via Jaipur. He will fly back to his home in Karachi, via Islamabad.

An Indian Supreme Court order in April this year and a consequent order from the same court last week have facilitated Dr Chishty’s journey to meet his family members in Pakistan. He will have to report back on November 1.

For Dr Chishty – who was sentenced to life imprisonment on January 31, 2011 after a protracted trial for his alleged involvement in a murder in 1992 – this is the first time in two decades that he crossed the Rajasthan border.

Local newspapers described the grief of the situation as he left the state in which he had been incarcerated for two decades.

Dr Chisty told the media: “I am thankful to you all. You all have been very kind.”

His brother Jameel Chishty was travelling with him while his son Tariq joined him Delhi.

“First, I will go to a mosque to thank the Almighty. Then I will meet my dear ones at home,” Dr Chishty said when asked what he would first do when he is home. When asked about the chances of clemency, he said, “I have faith in the goodness of the people and fairness of the judiciary here.”

Speaking to the media in Ajmer, Dr Chishty was confident that he would be forgiven. “I am innocent. I will be happier if I am pardoned,” he said.

A Special Leave Petition against his conviction is pending in the Indian Supreme Court while a clemency petition is pending before the Rajasthan Governor.

President Zardari’s plane leaves for India to bring Chishty home

Interior Minister Rehman Malik announced on Tuesday that a plane, provided by President Asif Ali Zardari, has left for India to bring Dr Chishty to Pakistan.

Speaking to the media, Malik said, “President Zardari has been very kind, he has given his plane to carry Dr Chishty back home.”

He also said that President Zardari had discussed Dr Chishty’s case with the Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, during his visit to Ajmer Sharif.

Reader Comments (29)

  • ReHaN
    May 15, 2012 - 1:41PM

    Welcome back Sir

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  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    May 15, 2012 - 1:45PM

    Welcome back home after a very long time.

    Your homecoming is not only awaited by your family members but also by the entire nation.

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  • aley
    May 15, 2012 - 2:04PM

    Return of Dr. Chishti, a splendid effort by President Zardari…..

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  • May 15, 2012 - 2:11PM

    So long Mr Chisty. i hope you find your family well and in good spirits.

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  • Observer's Eye
    May 15, 2012 - 2:11PM

    Hail President Zardari for his efforts!

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  • aley
    May 15, 2012 - 2:38PM

    @Observer’s Eye:
    This media will never recognize his efforts my dear sir

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  • Ahmed HM
    May 15, 2012 - 5:53PM

    Welcome back sir !

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  • Chief "Saab"
    May 15, 2012 - 6:18PM

    Why is the Government of Pakistan sending a special plane to get Dr Chishty? What has he done for Pakistan? There are plenty of Pakistanis lying in jails around the world under false cases. Does the Government of Pakistan routinely send planes to get each one of them when they are acquitted?
    They could’ve just bought him a first-class plane ticket and he could travel in comfort and luxury. Sending a plane is a waste of taxpayers’ money and also leaves a huge carbon footprint in the air. Another foolish decision of the PPP to try to gain respect and votes using Dr Chishty.

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  • Jayapal H R
    May 15, 2012 - 9:51PM

    I feel these nations and borders are against humans at their zenith. Dividing this sub continent by few persons, innumerable people are reeling under grief. why do not two countries be merged and emerge as a single nation, which will be a strong message to imperialism of the west…

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  • Sameer
    May 15, 2012 - 10:49PM

    I agree to what Jaypal has written above . We are divided because of politics only.
    If we were united no nation would have even dared to think of attacking us .There are
    more Muslims in India than Pakistan . I don;t understand what Jinnah and Nehru meant by 2 nation theory . Nehru became PM of India and Jinnah became PM of Pakistan happily .but wot was the .result (For billions of common ppl) – countless corpses , more than 60 years of wasteful spending in arms and ammunitions and wars , continuous loss of lives across both borders because of terrorism ,Lack of Foreing Investment because of this situation.Continuous hatred amongst both communities,other nations have taken advantage of our situation before some years ago US used to support Pakistan now it is supporting India.( practically taking advantage of both countries becasue of our unnecessary wars)Before partition also ppl lived happily together for centuries.
    I am a common man who can see all these things . Y cant politicians and billions of ppl across borders see this. What we have gained in these 6 decades? i guess only destruction..

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  • SM
    May 15, 2012 - 11:01PM

    The plane does not belong to Zardari. It belongs to the people of Pakistan.

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  • smj
    May 16, 2012 - 12:07AM

    How come President of Pakistan did not go himeself to bring Dr. Chishti home instead of sending a plane?

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  • Pollack
    May 16, 2012 - 12:17AM

    Strange world. A man convicted of murder is being received by politicians. What’s wrong with Pakistan?

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  • Mandeep Vaid
    May 16, 2012 - 12:33AM

    in which other country of this planet besides Pakistan, murderers & criminals are hailed from the President, ministers and the whole of nation? now we know the spiritual status of Hafiz Saeed in Pakistan……….Unbelievable and Beyond words!

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  • Hataf
    May 16, 2012 - 12:46AM

    the plane is under his command he used it for a good purpose so u shouldn’t have a problem

    the people of pakistan include Zardari, the PPP and the jiyalas too u know!

    if he has done something good acknowledge it i dont know how one can oppose the idea!
    he would have faced lots of difficulties in a private plane any way!

    Jeay Zardari for doing a good deed!Recommend

  • dpd
    May 16, 2012 - 12:47AM

    @Sameer.
    More than 60 years ago we were ONE.
    Today it will be difficult to be ONE.
    But because we were ONE once, we could have MUTUAL respect for one another.
    With this MUTUAL repect, we could walk together , hand in hand.

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  • Rajendra Kalkhande
    May 16, 2012 - 1:21AM

    @ Chief “Saab”: I am sure this plane did not go empty to India. It must have gone full of government Babus and some politicians as well. Who knows, there might have been some back channel diplomatic meetings as well. I am sure quite a few of doctors also must be on this two-way flight. .

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  • Khalq e Khuda
    May 16, 2012 - 1:57AM

    @Pollack:

    The man was convicted of man slaughter not murder. I’m sure you understand the difference. He is Pakistan’s first virologist and served this country well during his time at Karachi University.

    Welcome back sir!

    Jeay Bhutto!

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  • Sana
    May 16, 2012 - 2:00AM

    Can’t believe but finally our president has done something that we could appreciate. Thanks Mr. President for your efforts to release Dr.Chisti.
    To Dr. Chisti! Welcome back.

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  • Kaleem
    May 16, 2012 - 2:10AM

    @dpd, very well said.

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  • Zamir Malik
    May 16, 2012 - 4:10AM

    I am pretty sure if it would be Nawaz Sharif then everyone will be bashing and telling that episode as a Topi drama. But since It is Zardari so everyone is Appreciating. Now I have a firm belief that people of Pakistan are biased against a certain region and they cannot appreciate a certain ethnicity and that is why from Imran Khan to PPP only one person is problematic and now we can see how Mr Zardari is appreciated because he dont belong from that Devil Ethnicity from which Shahbaz and Nawaz belongs and from whom Imran ( The noble white race) and others are fighting with. Hypocritical nation and hater nation and nothing else.

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  • Spud
    May 16, 2012 - 4:17AM

    Now Pakistan should release Singh who also is in jail for 20 years. I am also amazed by the reception of this man accused of manslaughter by people high in the Government.

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  • Saqibtahir
    May 16, 2012 - 4:18AM

    @SM:
    It is not about the plane, it is about his personal efforts that were recognized by Indian government and their Supereme court.

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  • Saqibtahir
    May 16, 2012 - 4:19AM

    Kudos for President Zardari.

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  • Irfan Khan
    May 16, 2012 - 5:36AM

    I think Asif Ali Zardari should me praised for doing something right for a change lol though I do think sending a private plane to receive Mr. Chisti may have been overkill.

    Praise is also deserved by Ansar Burney for all he did for Chisti and is doing for many other Pakistani’s in Indian prisons.

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  • yusuf
    May 16, 2012 - 5:49AM

    ‘Jeay Bhutto’ for what? Did Bhutto bring him back……Strange illogical slogans!

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  • moonjely sony
    May 16, 2012 - 7:07AM

    is the same presidential plane will carry him back to India on 1st November after the parole ?

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  • May 16, 2012 - 9:54AM

    its great to have him back but i think its something all governments do. now the poor PTV followers will never hear the end of how our dear President took it upon his health as a matter of life and death and spared no pain to undertake to bring Dr. Sahab back. Obviously he probably discussed the matter on a high level forum and then to add spice sent a jet, obviously owned and fueled by the people of Pakistan. so its a good deed but Zardari Sahab did not play superman.

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  • Veerat Baloch
    May 16, 2012 - 10:10AM

    He is a murderer. Don’t make him a hero.

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