South Asia

Indian freed from Pakistani jail after 27 years

Gopal Das leaves prison in Pakistan
Image caption Mr Das says he was 26 years old when detained by Pakistani authorities

An Indian man has been freed from prison in Pakistan after serving 27 years on spying charges.

Gopal Das was handed to Indian authorities at the Wagah border crossing, where reports say he had an emotional family reunion and kissed the ground once he touched Indian soil.

Pakistan's president ordered his release on humanitarian grounds after an appeal from India's Supreme Court.

It came amid a series of diplomatic gestures during the cricket World Cup.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh invited Pakistani Premier Yousuf Raza Gilani and President Asif Ali Zardari to watch India face Pakistan in the semi-final of the tournament in the northern Indian city of Mohali.

Indian and Pakistani officials were already in discussions over the resumption of formal peace talks between the nuclear-armed rivals.

The talks had been called off after the Mumbai attacks of 2008, which killed more than 170 people, and which India says were planned in Pakistan.

Mr Das received an emotional welcome from his family who had last seen him as a young man. Mr Das says he was 26 years old when detained by Pakistani authorities.

He hugged his family members as they broke down in tears and he said that he had lost the "golden period of his youth" behind bars in Pakistan, according to the Press Trust of India news agency.