Modi qatar
23 Indians pardoned by Qatar emir for Ramadan to return home Picture: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani at the delegation level talks at Emiri Diwan, in Doha, Qatar on June 5, 2016.PIB

Twenty three Indians will soon come home after jail terms of varying length in Qatar after Emir Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani pardoned them before the beginning of Ramadan. Prime Minister Narendra Modi responded to the gesture on Tuesday by expressing his gratitude.

The pardons by the Qatari emir are not only goodwill gestures done before the beginning of the Islamic festival, but also come days after India and Qatar signed seven agreements.

"A special gesture to mark the start of a special month...the Government of Qatar releases 23 prisoners, who will return home to India. My deepest gratitude to the Emir of Qatar for the gesture, [sic]" tweeted Modi on Tuesday.

"My deepest gratitude to the Emir of Qatar for the gesture, [sic]" Modi said in another tweet.

Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday tweeted: "Thank you Qatar - Thanks for releasing 23 Indian prisoners on the request of Prime Minister @narendramodi. [sic]"

The Qatari emir pardoned multiple expats, including Nepalese, Bangladeshi, Filipinos and Indians, on the occasion of Ramadan, reported ANI, citing Doha News.

"HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani issued an Emiri gesture pardoning a number of prisoners on the occasion of the Holy Month of Ramadan, [sic]" Qatar News Agency said.

These expats have generally served a part of their term before being pardoned and allowed to go home. The emir pardons prisoners twice a year, the other occasion being Qatar's National Day on Dec. 18.