Travails of Hamid Ansari: Indian techie to bare all in new book

New Delhi, Dec 18 (PTI) A tell-all book on the life of Hamid Nihal Ansari, an Indian software engineer from Mumbai who was released from a Pakistani jail after six years for alleged espionage, will hit the stands next year, announced publishing house Penguin on Wednesday.

The as-yet untitled book, co-written by Ansari and journalist Geeta Mohan, promises to bring to life the true story of love and rescue, one that later turned into a long fight for survival.

'This story is not an imagination of a writer or poet, it is my true experience. The life as a prisoner on foreign land. It narrates three stages of struggle and how hard work pays off: mine, my mother's and family's, and of the people in Pakistan who came forward to help us,' said Ansari, who this month completes one year of his return to India.

Ansari, now 34, was in Kabul, Afghanistan for a job interview in November 2012 when a Pakistani girl that he befriended online falsely reached out to him for help. Crossing over from Afghanistan border in Jalalabad to Peshawar, Pakistan to rescue his friend, he was caught by the Pakistani army and intelligence on November 12.

He was sentenced to three years in 2015 by a military court of Pakistan.

Recounting the real life events that led to his release on 18 December 2018, after spending six years in captivity in a Pakistani jail, the book, according to the publishers, reveal Ansari's side of the story -- his determination to survive backstabbing, allegations of espionage in a foreign country and his fight to come back to his homeland.

'They say that truth is stranger than fiction. It certainly rings true in the case of Hamid Ansari.

'... This book that he has written with Geeta Mohan narrates what transpired in Pakistan and how he eventually found his way back home after a long struggle. I am delighted to publish the book, and I hope many more people can read and discover the true story of Hamid Ansari,' said Milee Ashwarya, publisher of Ebury Publishing and Vintage Publishing at Penguin Random House India Also, it throws light on the resilient struggle of a mother who shook three nations - Pakistan, India and Afghanistan - to find her son.

Her journey to justice include the efforts of a formidable team that campaigned for Ansari's release, such as Zeenat Shehzadi, a Pakistani journalist; Rakhshanda Naz, the legal counsel; Advocate Qazi Muhammad Anwar, her lawyer, who turned the case around for the Ansari family; the civil society and courts of Pakistan, former external affairs minister late Sushma Swaraj; India's Ministry of External Affairs as well as activist and journalist Jatin Desai.

'It was a fascinating experience to write about the fierce strength that so many people showed in ensuring Hamid Ansari is reunited with his family.

'This is a story of strength, grit and determination that crossed borders. A story that, in humanitarian issues between India and Pakistan, should become the rule and not the exception,' said Mohan, co-writer of the book. PTI MG MG