Freed Indian prisoner Surjeet Singh (L), escorted by Pakistani security officials, waves before leaving Pakistan for India at the Wagah border on June 28, 2012. An Indian man freed after spending three decades in a Pakistani prison for spying walked across the border Thursday into India where he was met by family and hordes of reporters. -AFP PHOTO

LAHORE: 'Indian spy' Surjeet Singh was handed over to Indian authorities at the Wagah border after being imprisoned in Pakistan for 30 years, DawnNews reported.

As soon as Singh landed in India after his release, he confessed that he went to Pakistan for spying.

After his statement, Indian security forces whisked him away.

Earlier Surjeet Singh had been shifted from the Kot Lakhpat prison to the Wagah border under heavy police protection.

“I met my children after 30 years in my country. This is happiness,” said Surjeet Singh, 69, who was captured in Pakistan's eastern border areas in the 1980s and handed a death sentence after being convicted on spying charges.

Singh, who was welcomed by Indian officials after walking over the Wagah border crossing in Punjab state, said he had been well treated during his long term of imprisonment.

Pakistani media had originally reported that the person being released was Sarabjit Singh, a high-profile prisoner who has spent two decades on death row in Pakistan after being convicted for his role in a string of bombings.

Sarabjit Singh's family has campaigned steadily for his release, claiming he is an innocent farmer from Indian Punjab who crossed the border by mistake.

Surjeet Singh told reporters he had met with Sarabjit several times.

“He is allowed to meet other prisoners once a week. He looks healthy but he doesn't say much,” he said.

Indian Foreign Minister SM Krishna on Thursday said it was time for Sarabjit to be set free.

“I welcome this decision (on Surjeet) and further renew our request to the president of Pakistan to release Sarabjit who has been in custody for well over two decades and is serving a death sentence,” Krishna said.

India released an 80-year-old Pakistani doctor, Khalil Chishti, last month on humanitarian grounds, after he was convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment following an 18-year-long trial.

In April 2011 Gopal Das, one of Pakistan's longest-serving Indian prisoners was released after Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari intervened in his case.

Upon his release, Das admitted he was an Indian spy and lashed out at the Indian authorities for abandoning him during his 23 years in jail.

Talking to media representatives in Pakistan, Singh said he was not a spy and that he was treated properly and faced no problems during his stay in the country.

He added that he liked Pakistan but if ever tried coming back then the agencies would consider him a spy, he also lauded the efforts of former federal interior minister Rehman Malik for making his freedom possible.