Man from Kotli AJK, imprisoned for 23 years in India returns home

A Pakistani man who was imprisoned for 23 years in India has finally come home. He was released by the Indian government on Tuesday.

Working on the “backdoor diplomacy”, the release was done as a goodwill gesture to the government.

Syed Sajid Ali Bukhari, the man released, belongs to Kotli, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK). Bukhari mistakenly crossed the border and entered the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IoK).

He was arrested by the Indian forces on September 8, 1995 in IoK and imprisoned him. Bukhari was kept in Srinagar jail for many years. His case, under RPC section 302, 307 and section 3, 5, was registered at Prempura police station.

In July 2006, his citizenship was confirmed after which the process of repatriation started. Bukhari was handed over to Pakistan’s Punjab Rangers by the Indian Border Security force (BSF).

In his release, the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi also played a crucial role.

A large number of Pakistani and Indian citizens are

forced to spend their lives in jails of both countries due to non-verification of citizenship.

Last week, a 22-year-old patient of sickle cell anemia, who had traversed into Pakistan’s territory unintentionally five years ago, was handed back to India as a goodwill gesture.

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