Hamid Nehal Ansari, an Indian national, lodged in a Pakistani jail for six years on espionage charges, who returned to India on Tuesday, has claimed that he was physically tortured by the Pakistani intelligence agencies in Islamabad.
Ansari met the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday, along with his family and while thanking Swaraj for the efforts the Indian Government put in for his release, narrated what he went through in Pakistan.
According to reports, Ansari told the minister that he was kept in solitary confinement initially after his arrest and was interrogated by the Pakistani authorities. “My left eye has been damaged by the interrogating officials”, Ansari has claimed. He has also stated that he was given some treatment by doctors there.
After Ansari’s homecoming was announced, many on social media had hastened to credit Pakistan for the ‘generosity’, most notable among them being Rajdeep Sardesai. Sardesai had thanked Pakistani PM Imran Khan for listening to the ‘pleas of a mother’. However, with Ansari now claiming imprisonment and solitary confinement in inhuman conditions along with physical torture, the claims of Pakistan’s benevolence looks dubious.
Speaking to India Today, Ansari has stated that he was put in solitary confinement for 3 long years. He was denied daylight and was even starved for days. He has stated that he was not allowed to even bathe for forty days once during summer. His body was worm infested and he was regularly tortured during interrogation.
An engineer and business professional from Mumbai, Ansari had gone to Kabul, Afghanistan, on 4 November 2012, on a tourist visa for a job in aviation. He had entered Pakistan on 12 November using fake identification documents, to meet a woman from Kohat in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa who had befriended him online and had been in Pakistan custody ever since.
Ansari furthered that there were Pakistani girls on social media who pose as friends and assure to help. “I thought from the heart and not from the brain. They asked me to come through Afghanistan. They kept fake IDs and documents in my pocket,” PTI had quoted him as saying.
However, in the meeting which was held between Ansari’s family and EAM Sushma Swaraj, Ansari’s mother expressed her gratitude towards the Indian government for their persistent efforts, resulting in the fortunate homecoming of her son, after six years in Pakistan’s captivity.
In a video clip of the meeting released by the Ministry of External Affairs, Ansari’s mother Fauzia is heard telling Swaraj: “Mera Bharat Mahan, meri madam Mahan, sab madam ne hi kiya hai (My India is great, my madam is great. Madam did everything).”
Welcome home, son!
— Raveesh Kumar (@MEAIndia) December 19, 2018
Regretting his decision to leave his aged parents, Ansari told Swaraj that he wanted to rebuild his life, get a job and possibly get married. Swaraj comforted Fauzia and expressed her sympathy by acknowledging that Ansari had faced a difficult time.