Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Without reason 15 years in Pakistani jail

BAGLUNG, Oct 24 - A Nepali youth in his 30's has been languishing in a Pakistani jail for 15 years for no fault of his. Fifteen years ago, Surya Bahadur Nepali of Baglung Municipality - 3 was on his way home from Saudi Arabia when he was robbed of his luggage and passport at a Pakistani airport. He had gone out for a meal when the bag where he kept his passport was stolen. Unaware of this, Nepali was about to board the flight, when he was arrested.
His family members accuse the Foreign Ministry of "negligence" that has left him confined to a Pakistani jail all these years.
The family members said they reported the matter to the Foreign Ministry and had completed all the due processes to get his release two years after Nepali wrote that he was confined in a Pakistani jail. The ministry demanded $ 150 for his release three years ago and the family readily provided it.
"We even informed this to Surya Bahadur Thapa, the then Prime Minister," Suchandra, Nepali's younger brother, said.
A letter bearing the signature of acting Nepalese Ambassador to Pakistan Mukti Nath Bhatta at the Foreign Ministry stated that Nepali was released by the Rawalipindi central jail at the behest of one Mariya Anna Bugija of Rose Garden Street Gulwar - 4 of Peshawar on Dec 10, 2002. The Embassy had asked for confirmation of his arrival in the letter.
On Jan 7, 2003, Nepalese Embassy wrote to Pakistani Foreign Ministry requesting the whereabouts of the Nepali after learning from the jail that he was released at the behest of Bugija. Nepali officials in Pakistan were preparing travel documents for Nepali. Meanwhile, the Embassy had said that they were yet to contact Bugija.
On October 5, Nepali's parents appealed to King Gyanendra to help their son return home, while the latter was on a trip to Baglung.
Nepali wrote his last letter to his family on August 11 through the International Committee of the Red Cross, where he mentioned that he was detained at Kathpak Path Jail in Pakistan's Punjab. In the last letter he wrote that he was fine and would return one day to tell all that had happened to him.

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