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Jailed Indian requests Pakistan court not to treat him as spy 

Islamabad, Nov 1 (IANS) Hamid Nehal Ansari, an Indian languishing in a Peshawar jail on espionage charges, filed a petition in the Peshawar High Court on Wednesday urging that he should not be treated as a spy.

Ansari was arrested and charged with spying when he sneaked into Pakistan from Afghanistan without travel documents in 2012, reportedly to meet a woman he had befriended on social media, the Express Tribune reported. 

In the petition, filed in the high court on his behalf by lawyer Qazi Muhammad Anwar, Ansari sought remission of his sentence.

A military court had tried him and sentenced him to three years’ rigorous imprisonment that started December 15, 2015 and will end on December 14, 2018. 

The plea stated that although Ansari was not found involved in any anti-state activities in Pakistan but had entered the country without proper documents. Therefore, he had the right of remission in the sentence after spending a long time in jail.

A two-member high court bench comprising Chief Justice Yahya Afridi and Justice Ijaz Anwar Khan, directed the Defence and Interior Ministries as well as the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government to submit their replies, Express Tribune reported.

Ansari was 27 when he was arrested from a hotel in Kohat city of Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. He had crossed into Pakistan via Afghanistan with a fake ID card by the name of Hamza, the report said. 

Ansari left India for Afghanistan on a tourist visa and then went to Jalalabad to enter Pakistan. 

He pleaded the court to change the words “anti-state activities” with “illegal activities” on his warrants, asking it to direct the jail authorities to allow him due remission with effect from December 15, 2015 and decide about his release date.

Ansari had also filed a petition in 2016 for fair treatment in jail. 

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