Appeal to Indian President for release of aged Pakistani prisoner

On April 4, 2011 Amna Chishty, daughter of retired Pakistani professor Dr Khaleel Chishty currently a prisoner in Ajmer prison hospital appealed to Aman ki Asha to secure her father’s release, inspired by the Indian Supreme Court’s appeal for the release of Indian prisoner Gopal Dass in Pakistan, whom the Pakistan government subsequently released. Since then, events have moved fast in India, with various high-powered individuals working behind the scenes to help Dr Chishty. Below, an appeal from distinguished Indian citizens to their president.

April 11, 2011

Honourable Pratibha Patil
The President of India
Rashtrapati Bhavan
New Delhi

Madame President,

May we bring to your attention an unfortunate but sad case of an eminent Pakistani academic Dr. Saiyyad Mohammad Khaleel Chishty, once an active Professor of Virology in Karachi. He has been suffering since 1992. He had gone to Ajmer in 1992 to look after his ailing mother. A family dispute involving his distant paternal relatives took an unseemly turn and he was arrested under IPC Section 302, 307/37, 302/34 and 324/34. Our inquiry reveals that he was falsely implicated. The trial took almost 20 years when he was finally convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment in January of 2011.

While he was out on bail for almost 18 years he never violated bail. He was always present whenever he was asked to report to the police or the courts.

Dr. Chishty is nearly 80 years old and has suffered serious health problems including heart problems and an un-healed hip fracture that rendered him unable to move on his own. He is now in the prison hospital. His family is concerned that he may not survive much longer in the jail in his condition and wishes to see him return home to spend last days of his life. On the day he was convicted two persons had to pick him up and carry him inside the jail in Ajmer.
As you are aware, Indian and Pakistan have been exchanging lists of prisoners held in each other’s prisons, and have been making good progress in their repatriation. Last past month, the Indian Supreme Court made an appeal to Pakistan for the release of Mr. Gopal Dass, an Indian citizen that had been imprisoned in Pakistan for the last 27 years. Within a month, Pakistan responded by ordering his release and he is back in India

The Constitution of India gives the President powers to “grant pardons, reprieves, respites and remissions of punishment”, as well as the power to “suspend, remit or commute the sentence” of people convicted of offenses. We are appealing to you to exercise this power in the name of humanity, mercy and reciprocity to release Dr. Chisty.

Thanking you,

1. Jatin Desai Journalist & Focus on the Global South, India

2. Kuldip Nayar Veteran Journalist

3. Mahesh Bhatt Film Maker

4. Admiral L Ramdas Retired Indian Navy Chief

5. Kavita Srivastav Human Rights Activist, PUCL

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8 Responses

  1. [...] Appeal to Indian President for release of aged Pakistani prisoner [...]

  2. [...] An Appeal to the President of India to Free Dr Chishty [...]

  3. Please create one of those avaaz kind of things. it will help spread the word and get people to add their voices quickly.

  4. I appeal to Hon. President of India to release Dr.Chishty on humanitarian ground. I know being a woman of south Asia you can understand the pain of wife,and daughters.

  5. Please feel the pain of his wife and daughters and order for Dr,Chishty release.

  6. plz, release him

  7. He needs to be released immediately. Let us not be so heartless.

  8. I appeal to human right / journalist of India kindly meet with honorable Indian president & request to pardon a 80 year prisoner Dr Khaleel Chishty & his family will pray all of you

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