Pakistani who was branded an ISI agent longs to go home
New Delhi, May 27, 2014 – 36-year-old Pakistani woman, who was wrongly branded by the Delhi Police as an ISI agent, has made an impassioned appeal that she be allowed to rejoin her family in Pakistan. She was allegedly accused of hatching plans to kill Narendra Modi in 2011 when he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat.
Sofia Kanwal made the appeal on Monday when Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is in the country attending the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“I just want to go back to Pakistan at any cost, by any mode. I just want to go,” said Sofia talking to The Hindu via telephone from Ahmedabad.
“I don’t even want to think of the past and what all we went through or why did the government, be it the Indian or Pakistani, did not take any action. All that is past. I have nothing against India. Here, we (she and her husband) do not have proper food to eat, we do not have money. We are living off charity,” says Sofia, a Commerce graduate from Karachi.
The couple had approached the Pakistan High Commission, but in vain and now hope Mr. Sharif’s visit might prove to be of some help.
After all the hype by the media, “which went into an overdrive terming them spies, suicide bombers, etc., without checking facts”, the police only invoked the provision of illegal entry into India against her. Today, Sofia lives with her husband in Gujarat, his native place. She suffers from gynaecological issues and needs immediate operation. She visited a doctor in Delhi through an NGO but “does not have enough money for food, so how can I afford a surgery?”
Sofia, along with her husband, was arrested by the Delhi Police Crime Branch from Nepal on November 24, 2011. They claim they were brought to Delhi and kept confined at a farm house for 19 days and severely tortured to confess that they were ISI agents.
On December 12, 2011, the police told them they would be freed. But they were brought to Tis Hazari court complex here, where a large number of media persons had gathered to cover their arrest.
The police told the court that the arrests were made from the New Delhi Railway Station and they were sent in judicial custody.
They were granted bail by the court, but face trial for the said charges.Sofia and her husband are in India facing trial. With no means of livelihood or a safe haven, they struggle for existence living around mosques.