Hamid Nihal Ansari, a software engineer from Mumbai who has returned to India after being released from jail in Pakistan, met the external affairs minister today.
Ansari was arrested in 2012; sentenced in 2015
He thanked Swaraj, her ministry for taking up case with Islamabad
It is a new dawn for us: Ansari’s father
Hamid Ansari wiped a tear from each eye as the two women spoke. Barely a day had passed since his six-year-long ordeal in Pakistan, where he’d been imprisoned, ended with an extraordinary homecoming moment at the Wagah Border in Punjab on December 18. Now, Ansari stood before Sushma Swaraj, India’s external affairs minister, and his mother Fauzia was overwhelmed.
“Mera Bharat mahaan,” Fauzia told Sushma Swaraj as they embraced, her voice clear despite the strain of emotion. (My India is great).
“Meri madam mahaan. Meri madam ne hi sab kiya hai,” she said. (My madam did everything).
Hamid Nihal Ansari, 33, is a software engineer from Mumbai. He was arrested in 2012 for illegally entering Pakistan from Afghanistan, reportedly to meet a girl he befriended online. After Fauzia filed a habeas corpus petition, a court was informed that the Pakistan Army had custody of her son, and that he was being tried by a military court.
He was sentenced on December 15, 2015, and imprisoned in the Peshawar Central Jail.
Today, Ansari narrated his ordeal to Sushma Swaraj. He thanked her and her ministry for persisting with the case and taking it up with the Pakistan government.
“I know that my efforts were less and God’s grace was more. It was because of God’s grace that I got very good people who helped me through these years,” Fauzia Ansari has said.
“The government of India was very supportive, so was the media on both sides of the border. This couldn’t have been possible were it not for the lawyers and activists in Pakistan who worked on the case.”
Ansari’s father Nihal, perhaps, summed up the family’s mood best.
“It is a new dawn for us,” he said.