Former constable Kashmir Singh returned home on Tuesday to a hero's welcome and reunited with his family amid tears and hugs, a day after he was freed after languishing in Pakistani jails for 35 years.
"It is my new birth," said 67-year-old Singh, who was released on Monday night from a Lahore prison, getting a pardon from Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf after being convicted on espionage charges.
Bald and white-bearded, Kashmir Singh had tears in his eyes as he crossed over to the Indian side of the Indo-Pak border at Wagah at 12:45 pm and was greeted by his wife and son, who was just 5 when he left India, ending their long wait.
"Never have we seen an Indian prisoner being escorted in a flag car of a minister," said Pakistan human rights minister Ansar Burney who accompanied him. Burney was instrumental in getting Singh released.
Image: Kashmir Singh after being reunited with his wife Paramjit Kaur at the Wagah border on Tuesday.
Text: Onkar Singh
Additional Reportage: PTI