Indian Citizens As Prisoners in Pakistan: Caught Between Borders

Posted on April 19, 2012 in Specials

By Mmrityunjay Nanda:

Every prisoner on the other side of the Indo-Pak border is neither fortunate enough to embrace freedom like Khalil Chishti nor is graced with high profile lawyers like Jas Uppal (who is a famed UK-based human rights lawyer and activist). It may be releasing of Chishti or the pending case of Bhanudas, I do have a strong feeling that freedom is still a high-priced, conditional luxury for these languishing Indian convicts back in cruel valley of Pakistan. Several laws like ‘Agreement of Consular Access, 2008′ have been passed but only for the sake of official paper work. Yet, not a single Indian prisoner in Pakistan has tasted the benefits of these regulations.

Only passing the law with the signature of two delegates in the presence of bigwigs and a mass press conference will not bring any justice to them. Devolving the case to Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Pakistan’s Chief Justice from Lahore High Court, Izaj Ahmed Choudhary directed “to take immediate measures in collaboration with other stakeholders for the release of foreigner prisoners, and subsequent deporting.” Though the case has been in India’s court for a quite long time, no significant actions have been observed as yet.

Why are these bureaucrats silent? What made them stop the release of these poor ‘offenders’?

Why does the Indian government have no answer? Why are the lives of 22 prisoners still at stake?

I am really disappointed, being rational, about who will answer these questions put up by the poor families waiting for their loved ones to be liberated. We can’t let outsiders torture our own people because of some formal delays with High Commission or Ministry of affairs. We don’t possess any right to play with the lives of these innocent people just on the basis of irrational suspicion of being a spy or more pathetically, for offenses that would have let them off after a slap on the wrist.

Being driven by political temperature and without adequate supervision, these governing bodies are refrained from proper actions that could have definitely set these prisoners free. We are pretty much aware of the fact that none of the prisoners out there can hire their own lawyers and it does not mean that they should be denied their right to freedom. Yes, being an Indian, they do have the right. So there has to be someone who could strictly guides these federations for a better functionality and resourceful usage of the laws which have been undertaken.

Finally, I would like to request to the government to initiate quick actions in the liberation of these ill-fated prisoners.

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