India

India releases Pakistani prisoner and her jail-born child

Fatima, Mumtaz and Hina wave as they enter Pakistan through the Wagah border Image copyright Ravinder Singh Robin
Image caption After spending 10 years in an Indian prison, all three entered Pakistan through the Wagah border

Two Pakistani sisters, one of whom gave birth in an Indian prison, were released on Thursday after serving 10 years for drug trafficking.

Fatima Rehman was arrested in 2006, along with her sister Mumtaz, and their mother Rashida - who died in prison.

Her 11-year-old daughter, Hina, has grown up in Amritsar jail, in Punjab. She has never met her family back home.

In August, Pakistan agreed to grant the girl citizenship despite her being born in India.

Image copyright Ravinder Singh Robin
Image caption Fatima (left) was serving a 10-year sentence in an Indian prison when she gave birth to Hina

At her prison school, Hina learned Punjabi folk songs - she told the BBC she hopes to sing them to her siblings and father when she goes back to her home in Pakistan.

She claimed her mother, aunt and grandmother are innocent but spent years in jail because of someone's "mistake".

"If I become an officer, I could also make such a mistake. But if I am a doctor, then I will only be helping people - so I want to be a doctor," she added.

While Fatima and Mumtaz's 10-and-a-half-year sentence ended in November 2016, the court sentenced them to another two years because they couldn't afford to pay their fine of 400,000 rupees ($6,187; £4,688). They were released after a local charity paid the amount.

"I am a very poor man, so I couldn't pay the fine," Fatima's husband, Gujaranwala Saiful Rehman told the BBC.

His son, Ghulam, said that he and his two siblings were "eagerly waiting" for Hina, who they have never met.

Hina, her mother and her aunt entered Pakistan through the Wagah border in the Indian state of Punjab on Thursday afternoon.

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