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Mar 05,2008
Indian prisoner home after 35 years
by UPI

NEW DELHI -- A 67-year-old Indian, kept in Pakistani prisons as a spy for 35 years before finally being pardoned, was back in India Wednesday with his family.

Before leaving Pakistan, Kashmir Singh, who was a 32-year-old police officer when arrested in Rawalpindi, was given a warm send-off Tuesday by Pakistani authorities at the border with India near Amritsar, reports said.

Singh won his freedom after efforts by Pakistan Human Rights Minister Ansar Burney led to a pardon by Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf.

After crossing the border, Singh had a reunion with his family which included his 65-year-old wife, the Press Trust of India reported.

"I have no wishes left. I have got everything now," Singh was quoted as saying. "I thank President Pervez Musharraf and Human Rights Minister Ansar Burney."

The BBC reported Singh had originally been sentenced to death for spying in 1973. He was found by Burney who was looking for those lost in Pakistani prisons.

Pakistani officials said Singh was released unconditionally, but hoped it would lead to similar prisoner exchanges.

Burney said during most of his years of imprisonment, Singh had not received a single visitor or seen the open sky, the BBC report said.

Copyright © 2008, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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