Brothers of three Pakistanis languishing in Indian jails appealed to the government on Sunday to get their loved ones released.
Muhammad Arif alias Muhammad Ashfaq, a resident of Abbottabad, was arrested by the police in New Delhi in 2000, said his brothers Dr Farid Akram and Khurshid Ahmad while speaking to media here on Sunday.
The two brothers said Ashfaq went to Delhi on a legal business visa where he was “trapped in a false murder case and was given death sentence by a local court”. The Supreme Court maintained his sentence after his lawyer failed to appear before the court, following what they alleged was harassment by Indian secret services. They said their brother is innocent and has been languishing in a jail in India for the past 12 years.
Zulfiqar Ali of Okara went to see his relatives, said his brother Muhammad Ramzan. He was picked up by security officials without a reason, said Ramzan. Later, he was booked in a false case and sentenced to death. A two-member bench of Supreme Court heard his appeal and asked for re-investigations into the case. He is in Central Jail Tehar, said Ramzan.
Shah Nawaz, a resident of Hafizabad, crossed the border by mistake in 2001 after he went to attend a wedding ceremony in a border area. His brother, Basharat Ahmed, said he was arrested by Indian forces and was booked in multiple false cases in which he was given a death sentence.
His sentence was later turned into life imprisonment by the Supreme Court. “Through his letters I have come to know that my brother is being tortured and teased in Gujrat jail,” said Ahmed.
Appearing days after the news of Presidential pardon to Indian national Sarabjeet Singh jailed in Pakistan on terrorism charges, the three men asked the government to appeal to the Indian government for the release of their brothers.
“If the government can pardon a terrorist and killer of innocent Pakistanis, why is it not working to get our brothers released,” said the four men while speaking to media. They also demanded that they be facilitated in meeting their loved ones like Sarabjeet’s sister’s meeting with him was arranged.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 28th, 2012.
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