India releases imprisoned Pakistani sisters and jail-born child
After an 11-year long wait, imprisoned Pakistani sisters Fatima and Mumtaz Rehman, and Fatima's jail-born daughter Hina can finally return to their homeland. Indian and Pakistani authorities recently completed the formalities of their release and repatriation. The sisters were detained in 2006 along with their mother on drug trafficking charges, although they claim to have been framed. Here's more about them.
What has happened in the case so far?
2006: Both sisters were arrested at the Attari railway station on drug trafficking charges while en-route to meet relatives in UP. Fatima was pregnant when arrested and gave birth to Hina while in prison. 2016: After serving their sentence, they were shifted to a prisoner transit camp as they were unable to pay a Rs.4,00,000 fine. 2017: Pakistan agrees to grant citizenship to Hina.
The long-awaited release finally comes through
The three prisoners were released after local charities paid the fine amount. Even after this, they reportedly had to endure a seven-month long wait for their release from the camp. Fatima, Mumtaz and Hina crossed the Wagah border to enter Pakistan on November 2, 2017.
Hina is full of hope as she leaves for Pakistan
11-year-old Hina grew up in prison and has never met her family back in Pakistan. Speaking to the BBC, she said that she was excited to sing the Punjabi folk songs, she learned at the prison school, to her family members. She further claims that her mother, aunt, and grandmother are innocent and were in prison due to somebody else's "mistake."