Indian spy sent home after 24 yrs


LAHORE – An Indian national, who was held by Pakistani intelligence agencies and charged with spying and sentenced to life imprisonment around 24 years ago, was released from Kot Lakhpat Jail on Thursday on special directives of President Asif Ali Zardari.
Gopal Das, one of Pakistan’s longest-serving Indian prisoners, crossed the border for spying in 1984 but was arrested by intelligence agencies from Azad Kashmir. On March 27, President Zardari ordered Das’ release late last month as a goodwill gesture to the Indian government. It was reported that the Indian Supreme Court had also appealed to the Pakistani government to release Das on humanitarian grounds.
Das was handed over to Indian authorities at Wahga border where his family and other relatives were waiting for him. Talking to reporters, Das said he was 26 when he was arrested, adding that he was sentenced to life in prison in June 1987 and had been due for release by the end of this year. Das said he had been jailed for spying, adding that he had come to Pakistan on a spying mission and was arrested for espionage.
Expressing anger on being neglected by the Indian authorities, Das said the “Indian intelligence never bothered to get me released from jail”. He said he “carries a grudge against the Indian leadership because they do not bother about Indian prisoners still rotting in carious Pakistani jails”.
He thanked the government of Pakistan for releasing him before his punishment had concluded.