India yesterday sought consular access to its national Hamid Ansari, who was attacked in a Pakistan jail twice recently.
Inmates assaulted 31-year-old Ansari, who was sentenced to three years in prison by a military court for possessing a fake Pakistani identity card, in a Peshawar jail. The Mumbai resident suffered serious injuries and was shifted to a hospital for treatment.
His lawyer told the high court bench that Ansari had been kept in a death cell with a hardened criminal on death row. Spokesperson of India's foreign ministry, Vikas Swarup, asked Pakistan to allow Ansari to speak to his family.
"The petition was filed following earlier reports that Hamid Ansari was attacked in prison. Through our high commission in Islamabad, the government has also raised the matter of Ansari's well-being and his early release. We have also reiterated our earlier stand and request for consular access and asked the government of Pakistan to allow him to speak to his family," Swarup added.
Hamid's mother, Fauzia Ansari, urged the Indian government to put pressure on Pakistan to seek his release as he had served his sentence.
"He has served his three years sentence, given to him by then (Pakistan). Now, there should be no hindrance to bring him back. We should try to bring him back instead of asking for security to protect him against violence. The India government should try to bring him back as soon as possible," Fauzia said in Mumbai.
Hamid was arrested in 2012 for illegally entering Pakistan from Afghanistan, purportedly to meet a girl he had befriended online.