MUMBAI, Jan 14 (IANS): Hamid N. Ansari, a techie from Mumbai who went missing in Pakistan on November 10, 2012, is reported to be alive and in custody of the Pakistan Army, an activists' group said here on Thursday.
"We are relieved and happy to hear that he's safe. But we are uncertain of the future. We want our son to return soon," his happy father Nehal Ansari told IANS.
The Pakistan India Peoples' Forum for Peace and Democracy (PIPFPD) said "it is heartening to know that young Hamid N. Ansari is alive".
"Deputy Attorney General of Pakistan, Mussaratullah Khan on Wednesday informed the Peshawar High Court that the defence ministry had informed him about Ansari who was in the custody of their army and was being court-martialled," PIPFPD India general secretary Jatin Desai said here.
The aged parents of then 27-year-old Hamid, a resident of Andheri West suburb of Mumbai, left no stone unturned trying to locate him.
He had reportedly entered Pakistan illegally through the Afghanistan border as he was in love with a girl from Kohat whom he had befriended on social media networks.
Since the girl's parents were planning to get her married soon, Ansari took the risk of entering Pakistan illegally to meet her but soon went missing.
The PIPFPD claimed that everyone who tried to help out in this case were targeted, and at least one local media person, Zeenat Shehzadi, is also reported missing.
"There is no doubt that it is only through a sustained judicial effort that brought the Pakistan Army and government to respond to the court and acknowledge that Hamid N. Ansari is in their custody, though he should have been produced in a court long back," Desai said.
His overjoyed family members received the information on Thursday afternoon and are praying that he is released as soon as possible.
Hamid, an engineer and an MBA, had been lured by an airlines job in the operations sector, and had gone to Kabul on November 4, 2012 and promised to return within a week.
After he went missing, his family feared he may have been abducted by some terror groups and moved the state and central governments for help to trace him out.
"We recognise the humanitarian efforts of friends, well-wishers and lawyers. It has been a long struggle for Hamid's parents. We appeal to the Pakistan government to release him as he has been already in custody for more than three years," Desai urged.
The PIPFPD also requested the Pakistan government permit Ansari's parents and family to meet him and said both the Indian and Pakistani governments must view this issue through a humanitarian perspective.