Indian spy Gopal Das returns to India

Indian spy Gopal Das, held in Pakistan for 27 years was handed over to Indian officials at Wagah border.


Express April 07, 2011

LAHORE:

Indian spy Gopal Das, held in Pakistan for 27 years was handed over to Indian officials at Wagah border on Thursday. Das was released on presidential orders.


The spy was transferred from the Kot Lakhpat jail to Wagah Border in a special vehicle. The notification by President Asif Ali Zardari to remit the remainder of the spy’s prison sentence was issued on March 27.


President Zardari issued the notice on humanitarian grounds following an appeal from India's Supreme Court.


Das -- who told reporters he was 26 when he was arrested -- was sentenced to life in prison in June 1987 and had been due for release by the end of this year.


Pakistan's presidency did not say why he was convicted, but Das himself confirmed reports that he had been jailed for spying.


"Yes... I went to Pakistan on a spying mission and I was arrested for espionage," said Das, who was clearly angered by what he saw as his abandonment by the Indian authorities.


"Indian intelligence never bothered to get me released from jail in Pakistan," he said.


"I carry a grudge against the Indian leadership because it does not bother about Indian prisoners still rotting in Pakistan prisons for many years," he added.


He made a point of thanking the president and prime minister of Pakistan for his early release.


Das had entered a plea to the Indian apex court through his brother, which ruled that while it had no jurisdiction in Pakistan, it could make an appeal for his release to the Pakistan government.


Justice Markandey Katju of the Indian Supreme Court reportedly also quoted Pakistani poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz in his ruling: “Qafas uddas hai yaaro sabaa se kuch to kaho, Kaheen to beher-e-khuda aaj zikr-e-yaar chale.” (The prison is gloomy; O Friends! Tell the eastern wind, To at least allow some talk of my beloved for divinity’s sake)


The remission is mostly symbolic since it comes only a few months before he was scheduled to be released. However, it is being viewed as another gesture on the part of Pakistan towards improving relations between the two South Asian rivals.


With additional input from AFP

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COMMENTS (35)

no aman ki aasha | 10 years ago | Reply We as indians , do not have such high ideals of desttroying u guys ..we want to live and we dont want to harm u either... but whenever ( since 1985( i was a 5 yr old then)), i have been observing, that indias lend a friendship hand which would be cut by the pakistani army...how many times that we should come out there as a big brother, when the younger one want die in his own wounds and he still harbours the revenge... does it only mulsims who have faced the wrath of partition..our muslim brothers in idna have also faced, our sikh brothers have also faced and so we hindus too... but its time to move on and build a strong country..i want want my country to waste its previous time on such silly matters..i know very well about the our buerocracy...they will not change, but that does mean that i would feel that my country will not grow... we are now more confident on our country than before inspite of all there baggages of history... But pakisthani;s are never low, they always want revenge and kashimir..brothers lets keep it aside and first grow and make west realise our potential instead of quarrelling like silly borthers..hopefully india has learn to behave like a Mature country...will Pakistan behave the same way too? we dont praaise the terrosits, be it he has done it in our country or in any other..but are Pakistani's willing to take the same stand? no they wont
John | 10 years ago | Reply @Vicram Singh: What do you think that foreign ministers / secretaries talk during their meeting. This has been a long issue, fraught with ego and politics on both sides. There are few in Indian prisons, if I recollect, from PAK but PAK does not acknowledge them, so it is a night mare. Read in india news that Das was complaining that Indian gov did not advance his case. Once he comes to know the truth in coming years, his perception might change. But bitterness will remain.
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