3 Pakistani nationals repatriated via Attari-Wagah border after completing jail terms

Amritsar (Punjab) [India], March 26 (ANI): Three Pakistani nationals who completed their sentences in Indian jails have been repatriated to their home country via the Attari-Wagah border in Amritsar, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Saturday.

The three prisoners include Sameera Abdul Rehman, Murtaza Asghar Ali and Ahmed Raja, the MEA said in a statement. Sameera was accompanied by her 4 year-old-daughter Sana Fatima, who was born in prison, the external affairs ministry said.

"Three prisoners were released today after they completed their prison sentences. They will be handed over to Pakistan Rangers. Among them was a woman Sameera Abdul Rehman who had arrived in India in 2017. An FIR was lodged in Bangalore against her and her husband. She was sentenced to three years of imprisonment. While in jail she gave birth to Sana Fatima. They are being sent to Pakistan today," said Protocol officer Arunpal Singh.

"Ahmed Raja who crossed over the border is also being sent to Pakistan after being imprisoned for 21 months. The third prisoner released today is Murtaza Asghar Ali. He came with a visa to India and was arrested near Ambala. All three prisoners are being sent back to Pakistan," the protocol officer added.

The MEA statement said: "The Government of India attaches highest importance to addressing all humanitarian matters, including early release and repatriation of all Indian prisoners and fishermen. Government's persistent efforts have succeeded in release and repatriation of 20 Indian fishermen and one civilian prisoner from Pakistan's custody in 2022, so far."

Meanwhile, prior to her departure to Pakistan, Sameera thanked the Indian government for helping in her repatriation and urged the government to release more such prisoners. "I would like to thank the Indian government for helping us. I urge the government to release more prisoners like me," she said.

Another prisoner Ahmed told ANI that he had "unknowingly" crossed the border and was returning to his country after 21 months of imprisonment. "I unknowingly crossed the border where I was caught. I was imprisoned for 21 months. The government should release other such prisoners," he said.