Indian court grants bail to Pakistani microbiologist

The Supreme Court of India granted bail to the ailing microbiologist of Pakistan Mohammad Khalil Chisti, 80-years-old, who was convicted in a twenty year old murder case and given life sentence, on humanitarian grounds.

The decision was announced by the bench of justices of the Supreme Court which included Justice J Chelameswar and P Sathasivam. They announced that due to the old age of Chisti and his long duration in the Indian jails, he is being released by the court on Monday. Khalil Chisti has been in India since 1992 when he went there to pay a visit to his mother and got caught up in a murder, after which he could not return to Pakistan. Chisti belongs to the prestigious family of Ajmer who are known to be the caretakers of the Khuwaja Mohiuddin Chisti shrine in India. At the time of partition, Khalil happened to be studying in the part of India which is now Pakistan and decided to stay in Pakistan.

Seeing the initiative taken by the government of India after the visit of the President of Pakistan to Ajmer Sharif, a case which was discussed by the President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh over dinner in Delhi on Sunday, the spokesperson of the foreign office of Pakistan Abdul Basit said that the step is a positive “goodwill gesture”.

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