Hamid Ansari, the man Sushma Swaraj helped bring back from a Pakistani jail, paid tribute to her on Wednesday. After the External Affairs Minister's death, Ansari said she was like his mother.
"I have deep respect for her and she will always stay alive in my heart. She was like a mother to me. After my return from Pakistan, she guided me to look ahead. It's a big loss for me," ANI quoted.
Hamid Ansari: I have deep respect for her&she'll always stay alive in my heart. She was like a mother to me. After my return from Pakistan,she guided me to look ahead. It's a big loss for me. (Pic 2-File pic of Ansari meeting Sushma Swaraj on 19thDec'18 after his return from Pak) pic.twitter.com/kY3Jk68stR— ANI (@ANI) August 7, 2019
Ansari, a Mumbai-based engineer, had entered Pakistan on 12th November, 2012, to meet a woman whom he had befriended on social media.
He was arrested by Pakistan's intelligence forces and handed a three-year sentence in 2015 for possessing a fake Pakistani identity card. His jail term had ended in December 2018 but he was unable to return to India as his legal documents were not ready.
With the help of Sushma Swaraj, who was then the Foreign Minster of India, Ansari was able to walk free. The 33-year-old was repatriated after Pakistani high court gave their government a month's deadline to complete the process.
"Mera Bharat mahaan, meri madam mahaan, sab madam ne hi kiya hai (My India is great, my madam is great. You did everything)," Ansari's mother Fauzia said on his return.
Swaraj breathed her last at AIIMS hospital on Tuesday. After a cardiac arrest, she was declared dead by the doctors at around 11:05 pm. Her body was later taken to her Delhi residence Djawan Deep Building at Janpath. Swaraj will be cremated at Lodhi crematorium around 3 pm on Wednesday.