Assam’s Wahida Begum, her son released from Pakistan jail after 18 months, to return India today


In a significant diplomatic development, Pakistan has decided to repatriate five Indian prisoners through Wagah Border on Wednesday, May 29, sources said.

Among the five prisoners, Wahida Begum hailing from Assam and her 11-year-old son Faiz Khan are poised to return to India after enduring a year and a half of detention in Pakistan. 

The handover is scheduled to take place on May 29 at the Wagah-Attari border, marking the culmination of a protracted legal and diplomatic ordeal.

Originally from Nagaon in Assam, Wahida Begum and her son found themselves incarcerated in Quetta Jail since November 2022 under mysterious circumstances. Their arrival in Quetta, near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, without valid passports and visas, has remained shrouded in mystery.

According to sources, the initial notification of their detention came through a phone call to Wahida’s family in Assam, followed by a legal notice from a Pakistani court stating their detention for lacking proper travel documents. The process to release was accelerated by Pakistan’s Interior Ministry along with the efforts of advocate Santosh Kumar Suman.

Their release, after months of advocacy and diplomatic negotiations, has been facilitated by Pakistan’s Ministry of Interior, with significant credit owed to the persistent efforts of Santosh Kumar Suman.

Facing jurisdictional challenges, Wahida’s family initially sought help from the Delhi High Court but eventually turned to the Gauhati High Court for assistance. The Supreme Court of India stepped in, recommending engagement with the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of External Affairs, paving the way for diplomatic negotiations that secured their release.

Apart from Wahida and her son Faiz Khan, three other Indian prisoners will also be handed over to India at the Wagah border. The prisoners include Suraj Pal and Ramesh, who were detained in Lahore Jail, and Shabir Ahmed Dar, who was lodged at Malir Jail in Karachi.