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ISLAMABAD: The Indian High Commission has sought release of an Indian convict who has served his five-year sentence.

A petition filed by the commission was taken up by Islamabad High Court (IHC) Justice Aamer Farooq on Wednesday. However, the IHC bench withdrew the petition after objections raised by the registrar office that the power of attorney was not properly signed and relevant parties were not nominated as respondents.

Advocate Malik Shahna­waz Noon, the petitioner’s counsel, said he would re-file the petition after making necessary changes.

The Indian national, Rafiq Jutt, was apprehended by Pakistan Army in 2008. He was sentenced to five-year imprisonment in 2012 after a trial.

Advocate Noon maintained that the convict was Muslim and belonged to the Indian state of Gujarat. He visited Pakistan on a valid visa in 2008 when Pakistan Army apprehended him. Mr Jutt was tried under section 59 of the Pakistan Army Act.

During his imprisonment, the Indian national has been kept in different jails. Presently, he is confined in Karachi’s central jail.

He was awarded sentence on March 8, 2012 which expired on March 7 this year.

Advocate Noon said that since Mr Jutt had completed his sentence and now the authorities had no concern with him, he might be released.

The advocate said that as Mr Jutt was an Indian citizen, the matter directly came under the interior ministry which had the authority to arrange his release by ordering the Sindh home secretary.

Among other grounds, Mr Jutt had an ailing mother back home and there was no person to look after her as his wife was compelled to work at a farm as a labourer due to his imprisonment, the advocate said, adding that Mr Jutt has a nine-year-old son.

Published in Dawn, September 21st, 2017