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Indian Prisoner Released by Pakistan Admits to Spying

News reports in India say a man who spent 35 years in Pakistani prisons on spying charges before his release this week has admitted that he was a secret agent.

The Press Trust of India news agency Friday quotes Kashmir Singh as saying that he did his duty to serve India as a spy in Pakistan. But, speaking in the northern city of Chandigarh, the capital of India's Punjab state, Singh criticized successive Indian governments, saying they did not take care of his family following his arrest in 1973.

The news agency says Singh declined to name which Indian government agency employed him, or how he entered Pakistan. But it says he also criticized the government for failing to help other Indian prisoners in various Pakistani jails.

Singh, who is in his 60s, returned to India Tuesday, a day after Pakistani authorities freed him on humanitarian grounds.

Singh was convicted of spying and sentenced to death by a military court after his 1973 arrest. Pakistani authorities later stayed his execution, and his case languished.

Pakistani Minister for Human Rights Ansar Burney played a key role in his release.

Singh's release follows a gradual improvement in ties between India and Pakistan since the South Asian rivals launched a peace process in 2004.

Since then, the two neighbors have restored transportation links and sporting and cultural contacts. India and Pakistan also have held a series of prisoner exchanges in recent years.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.