Pakistan national to return home after 20 years in Amritsar jail

     Mukhtar Ahmed, who has spent last 20 years in Indian jails, is all set to return to his native place in Pakistan. Affectinonately called "Bapu Mukhtiar", the 63-year-old Pakistani national was arrested in 1990 by the Indian security personnel on espionage charges. Although sentenced for seven years of jailterm, Mukhtiar had to spend another 13 years in the jail. For, the Pakistani authorities refused to accept him as they did not confirm his identity as a Pakistani national. When his name figured in the list of Pak National Internees, who would be released during Ramadan month, but kept in transit camp at Amritsar Central Jail, there was a shimmer of joy and a major sigh of relief in his eyes. Mukhtiar has been living in the Central Jail's transit camp despite his jail term completing in 2002. Father of two sons and a daughter, Mukhtiar was sent to India by the Pakistani intelligence service agency for spying in 1990. He was caught by the Indian police at Ferozepur in Punjab . Mukhtiar claimed, he was a landlord and owned 60 acres of land in Kasur district. Though he was in touch with his family members through letters, today he is desperate to meet them in person. "I just want to see them through my eyes," he says with moist eyes. Mukhtiar was a father figure for fellow inmates due to his good conduct during his jail term. He always tried to reach out to others for help. The inmates named him "Bapu Mukhtiar" or "father Mukhtiar". With the about 200,000 rupees that he earned in jail, Mukhtiar tried to help out others be it Indian or Pakistani. Mukhtiar's generorsity and kindness has appealed even jail officials. Once out of the jail, he wishes to pay obeisance at the Harmandir Sahib (the Golden Temple ) before leaving for Pakistan . He wants to pray for good relations and peace between the two neighbour countries. According to reports there are 65 Pak prisoners in Central Jail of Amritsar. Getting released, soon are Abdul Sharif of Balochistan, Altaf-ur-rehman of Karachi , Mohd. Aslam Khan of Lahore, Iqbal Saddiqui of Gujranwala, Haran Rashid of Girgitt, Shah Niwaj of Okarra, Shukla Ghosh, a Pakistani woman and another Pakistani national who is deaf and dumb.

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