An Indian man who spent more than three decades in prison in Pakistan for spying has been released and returned to his country.
Surjeet Singh, 69, was greeted by his son and other family members as well as hundreds of well-wishers at the Wagah border crossing on Thursday, where he admitted to journalists, “I had gone [to Pakistan] for spying,” according to the BBC.
“I’m free after 30 years. I’ve met my family, I’m really happy,” he added. According to the Times of India, Singh – who went missing near the border in Punjab’s Ferozepur sector in 1982 – said he had been “treated well by prison officials.”
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According to the Associated Press, there was confusion this week when Pakistani officials said another Indian prisoner – Sarabjit Singh, who was convicted on terrorism charges – was to be released, but then later clarified it was Surjeet Singh who would go free.
On Wednesday Indian Foreign Minister S. M. Krishna welcomed the news that Singh was to be released and called on Pakistan to release Sarabjit Singh - on death row for more than 21 years – as well other Indians serving out prison sentences in Pakistani prisons, according to Reuters.