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:
"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
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