“Never fall in love on Facebook,” Hamid Nehal Ansari has said after spending six years in Pakistani jails.
Hamid Ansari had crossed over into Pakistan from Afghanistan in 2012, reportedly to meet a girl he had befriended online. He was caught and subsequently sentenced to three years in prison for travelling on a fake passport.
His sentence came to an end on December 15 this year.
Hamid returned to India on Tuesday, passing through the Attari-Wagah border to a tearful reunion with his parents and brother.
A resident of Versova, Ansari earlier told reporters he wanted to meet the girl because she was in distress. “She asked for help and I started hunting for a visa. There were people from Pakistan who posed as friends and said they would help. I thought from the heart and not from brain. They asked me to come through Afghanistan. They kept fake IDs and documents in my pocket,” he told the channel.
He said there were policemen waiting for him before he reached the girl’s house and arrested him.
“The moment I got arrested I thought I was doomed. That moment I thought I was never going to go home but then as time went by I started getting hope that I would go home,” he said “The first three years I spent underground alone, sometimes they would give me food, and sometimes they wouldn’t. I had this motivation that I have to go back home and serve my parents. I have given them a huge pain and this will be my repentance. This is the least I can do,” he said in the interview, reports news agency PTI
“After six years, when I saw them (his family) I was still in Pakistan. They were crying and spreading their arms while Pakistani authorities were completing paperwork with me and I kept asking them to speed up. I just ran towards them (family) and fell on my knees, ‘Ammi mujhe maaf kar de’. I was asking for forgiveness from everyone,” he told India Today in an interview.
The Mumbai resident, who returned to India after crossing the Wagah-Attari border, was imprisoned in the Peshawar Central Jail after being sentenced by a military court on December 15, 2015.
Early Wednesday, Ansari had an emotional interaction with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj as tears rolled down his cheeks while narrating his ordeal. Officials said Ansari became emotional while explaining the difficult phase he had to endure in Pakistan. According to official sources, India issued 96 notes verbales to Pakistan seeking consular access to Ansari. The decision to release him was on account of relentless pressure from New Delhi, they said.