Software engineer Hamid Nihal Ansari, who spent six years in a Pakistani jail on charges of espionage, returned to his hometown Mumbai on Thursday morning, two days after was handed over to India at the Wagah-Attari border.
Ansari, 33, along with his parents left from New Delhi in the morning in an Air India flight and arrived at the Mumbai airport around 9.30 am, his father Nihal Ansari said.
Relatives, friends and well-wishers greeted Ansari and cheered for him as he came out of the airport.
The family then left for their residence in suburban Versova.
Ansari said that he wanted to celebrate with his family post which he will find a job, marry and settle down.
Don’t trust anyone on Facebook, don’t lie to your parents and believe in your government— are the three lessons Ansari said he learnt from his six years in prison.
He had entered Pakistan in 2012 via Afghanistan to meet a girl who was in distress. Ansari befriended this girl online. He wanted a visa and people from Pakistan posed as friends in the pretext of helping him. They convinced Ansari to cross the border via Afghanistan and kept fake IDs and documents in his pocket. He was arrested before he could meet the girl.
Authorities in Pakistan slapped espionage charges against him.
According to official sources, India issued 96 notes verbales to Pakistan seeking consular access to Ansari. The decision to release him was taken on account of relentless pressure from New Delhi, they said.
Shortly before his arrival on Tuesday, his mother Fauzia Ansari had told reporters that the prayers of the family and of all those who wished for his safe return were answered.
His father had said it was a new dawn for them.
Ansari and his family have thanked External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her ministry for persisting with the case and taking it up with Islamabad.
Ansari had an emotional interaction with Swaraj on Wednesday as he narrated the difficult phase he had to endure through in Pakistan.