ISLAMABAD - Chairman Press Council of Pakistan (PCP), Raja M. Shafqat Khan Abbasi on Wednesday wrote a letter to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh seeking his personal intervention in facilitating the release of Pakistani prisoner Dr. S. M. Khaleel Chishty, who is undergoing life imprisonment in Ajmer, Rajasthan, India.

The following is the text of the letter:

His Excellency,

Please allow me to draw your kind attention toward a Pakistani prisoner Dr. S. M. Khaleel Chishty, who is undergoing life imprisonment in Ajmer, Rajasthan, India. Dr. S. M. Khaleel Chishty, aged 82, is a virologist and former Professor of Karachi University. He has done his PhD from Edinburgh University, UK. He has served on different positions in Pakistan as well as in abroad.

Dr. Chishty, who visited Ajmer, Rajasthan in 1992 to see and receive love from his beloved mother when arguments between his host and neighbor turned into a physical encounter resultantly loss of life of one person.

The incident took place without pre-mediation. It was an accidental act as claimed by his family. Where upon Dr. Chishty, a senior educationist, along with others, were implicated in the case. His appeal was dismissed by Rajasthan High Court on November 2011.

Dr. Chishty was not permitted to leave India during the trial and thus he has already suffered the agony of the trial for more than 19 years. Members of the Civil Society apprehend danger to his life and have expressed their grave concern on the deteriorating health of Dr. Chishty. His family, relatives and Human Rights Activists in Pakistan are very perturbed/disturbed. Dr. Chishty has developed the multifarious ailments during the last few years.

The wife of Dr. Chishty, Begum Merhunissa Chishty, daughters Shoa Jawaid and Tasneem and grandson Syed Ali Ghalib Chishty have already submitted a mercy petition which is pending with the Worthy Governor of Rajasthan. The Human Rights Activists, NGOs and the academia of Karachi University have also raised their voice and demanded for early release of Dr. Chishty. Justice Markandey Katju, Chairman, Press Council of India and a former Judge of Supreme Court, has made tremendous efforts in this regards and raised his voice before the Indian leadership as well as before the concerned authorities. The family members, relatives, friends, students and academia of Pakistan are anxiously waiting for the release of Dr. Chishty who is counting his last days of life in Jail hospital at Ajmer.

Due to his prolonged ailment and continuous isolation, Dr. Chishty, has suffered physical, mental and emotional trauma, which demands that he should be released on humanitarian grounds.

Taking into consideration of the veritable facts and as a gesture of goodwill, I personally appeal to your honour to kindly intervene in the matter sympathetically and facilitate the release of Dr. Chishty, enabling the old educationist, to return to his motherland as early as possible so that he could spend his last days of life with his family in Pakistan.  Your act of kindness, purely on humanitarian grounds would not only send a positive message across the border but also to the international community, as well. It will be a step forward in bringing the people of two countries closer to each other and the same will promote peace and harmony between the people of two great nations.