India

Zardari Urged to Seek Dr. Chishti’s Release

Daughter of Pakistani national Dr. Syed Mohammed Khaleel Chishti, who is serving life imprisonment in a Ajmer jail, has written to president Asif Ali Zardari to talk to Indian authorities about release of his 80-year-old ailing father.

She has urged Mr. Zardari to take up the matter with Indian PM Manmohan Singh when he meets him on Sunday ahead of his visit to shrine of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti in Ajmer.

Mohammed Khaleel Chishti was sentenced to life imprisonment in December, 2010 after spending 18 years in prison during the trial.

Full text of the letter:

Honorable Mr. Asif Ali Zardari President Islamic Republic of Pakistan Aiwan-e-Sadar Constitution Avenue-Islamabad, Pakistan

Honorable Sir,

Subject: Upcoming Presidential visit to Ajmer Sharif India and Case of Pakistani Prisoner Dr. Khaleel Chishti. 

In anticipation to your upcoming visit to Ajmer Sharif India I am compelled to draw your attention to the case of my father Dr. Syed Mohammed Khaleel Chishty, an 80 year old Pakistani professor who is currently serving life sentence in a jail in Ajmer – Rajasthan, India.

He has been held in India for the past 20 years, 19 of which were under house arrest while a case against him went on for a crime he did not commit. In December 2010 after a trail of 19 years, he was sentenced to life imprisonment.

Now he is an ailing old man with a heart condition and an unhealed hip fracture, who is unable to move to meet his basic needs.

Brief facts for your kind consideration are as under:

  • Dr. Chishti is a highly educated law abiding citizen of Pakistan, besides acquiring B. Sc Honors and M. Sc in Microbiology in 1959 from Karachi University, he has the distinction of being Ph.D from Edinburgh University Scotland and additional degrees of M.I. Biology as well as F.R.S.H from London University. He has been professor in the universities of Karachi, Nigeria, King Abdul Aziz University Jeddah and Tebrez, Iran, etc. All his six children are also highly educated law abiding citizens.
  • In 1992 he visited India to see his ailing mother. During his stay with his brother in Ajmer, he was falsely implicated in a case of riots, with obvious mischievous and mala fide motives since he was a Pakistani. He had succeeded in getting released on bail, but he was not allowed to return to Pakistan since 1992. This case remained pending for about 19 years. In December 2010, my old and ailing father was unfortunately convicted under Section 302 and sentenced for 14 years. My father is currently in Ajmer prison hospital since January 2011 and he is in a very precarious condition as necessary medical treatment is not available to him.
  • My father’s case is well documented in India and the Government of India including the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, Home Minister Mr. Chidambaram and Governor of Rajasthan Mr. Shivraj Patil are aware of the case. In 2011 my father’s  mercy petition was cleared by the Chief Minister of Rajasthan Mr. Ashok Gehlot and sent to the Governor of Rajasthan Mr. Shivraj Patil for final approval, however it has still not been signed and my father continues to suffer in prison.

I am inspired by your very magnanimous human rights gesture of releasing and repatriating an Indian prisoner Gopal Das, in response to the Judgment and Appeal made by the Honorable Judges of the Supreme Court of India, who had rightly held that they have no jurisdiction to issue direction to any authority in Pakistan but they continued to state that it does not prevent them from making a request to the Pakistani Authorities to consider the appeal of the Petitioner for releasing him on humanitarian grounds by remitting the remaining part of his sentence.

On behalf of my family I humbly appeal to your good self to inquire about my father’s case during your upcoming visit to India and Ajmer.

Kindly find it in your heart to ask the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and Governor of Rajasthan to release my father on humanitarian grounds before his life ends in prison.

My family and I shall be extremely grateful for your kind humanitarian gesture as requested above. I am very optimistic that the Prime Minister of India and Governor of Rajasthan would not ignore your appeal/request on behalf of an innocent Pakistani citizen and will reciprocate your very humanitarian and generous gesture of releasing and repatriating the Indian prisoner Gopal Das.

Sincerely,

Amna Chishty

D/o. Syed Mohammed Khaleel Chishty

(Courtesy: Pratirodh)

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