LAHORE: India released 13 Pakistani prisoners, including two women and a girl who was born in a prison in Amritsar, on Thursday and handed them over to Pakistan’s authorities at the Wagah border.
The newly-freed Pakistani nationals crossed the border in the evening, an official told Dawn. Nine of them were fishermen, he said.
Fatima Rehman was among those freed on Thursday. She had been arrested by Indian police in 2006 on charges of drug trafficking and was imprisoned for 10 years. The official said Ms Rehman was pregnant at the time she was taken into custody along with her sister Mumtaz and mother Rashida.
While Rashida passed away in prison, Ms Rehman gave birth to a girl at an Amritsar jail. Hina, now 11 years old, accompanied her mother and aunt across the border on Thursday evening.
The official said the 13 freed Pakistanis, including the fishermen, had been kept in various Indian jails and camps. Fatima and her sister, Mumtaz, had completed their 10-and-a-half-year sentence in November 2016. As they could not pay a fine of Rs400,000, the court sentenced them for another two-year period.
Eventually, a charity organisation took up their case and paid the fine securing their release.
Published in Dawn, November 3rd, 2017