Pak terrorists freed in goodwill gesture

via published on May 29, 2010

The Jammu and Kashmir government has released 25 Pakistani terrorists lodged in various prisons of the country on the advice of the Union home ministry. The state government on Thursday revoked the detention orders of these terrorists, mostly belonging to the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and the Hizbul Mujahideen (HM), and will facilitate their return to Pakistan.

The release of the terrorists comes ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Jammu and Kashmir on June 7. Political observers believe the decision is the Centre’s olive branch to separatist leaders in an attempt to bring them on the dialogue table.

The PM is expected to renew his offer of talks with all shades of opinion in Jammu and Kashmir during his visit.

These militants were detained under Section 19 (1) of the J&K Public Safety Act (a law that allows the government to keep people in jail without trial for two years) over the years.

Some of them were sent to jails outside the state for security reasons. They were also provided consular access in the Amritsar jail on March 25. Not a single Indian languishing in the Pakistani jails is, however, being set free in exchange of these militants.

According to reports, the Pakistani detainees have been released. Sources said they were handed over to the Pakistani authorities at the Wagah border on Friday.

Nine of them were earlier lodged in the high-security Kot Bhalwal jail in Jammu.

They include Noor Mohammad, Abdul Rashid, Nazir Mohammad, Mohammad Shafi, Rahim Din, Mohammad Sharief Malik, Karamat Hussain and Suhail Ahmad Kataria.

Kataria, from Kotli in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, was released from the Central Jail in Srinagar. He was recently shifted to the Valley from the Agra jail.

The terrorists released from the Agra jail are Mohammad Ajmal Chouhan alias Munna alias Abu Walid from Lahore, Meharban Sethi alias Nadeem from Rawalpindi and Mohammad Nawaz from Gujranwala.

Four Pakistanis were lodged in the Naini jail in UP. They are Shahid Mehmood, Ghulam Haider, Mohammad Farooq Raja and Quadratullah.

Shahid Latief alias Shahid Bhat of Muzaffarabad was released from the Varanasi jail while Mohammad Yasin Khokhar of Lahore was released from the Tihar jail.

Three detainees were lodged in the Jodhpur jail – Shabeer Ahmed, Sajad Ali Jat alias Sajad Bhat and Sher Khan (Peshawar).

Four terrorists were set free from the Sangrur jail in Punjab.

They are Faiz Ali alias Ali Bahadur Ali, Dawood Ahmad alias Osama, Mohammad Usmaan Sheikh alias Abdul Samad Askari and Zarar Balouch alias Ibrahim.

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