LAHORE: After the Ministry of Law and Justice approved his release on Tuesday, life sentence prisoner Surjeet Singh is due to be released from the Kot Lakhpat Jail, Lahore on Thursday before being handed over to Indian authorities to take him home.
Advocate Awais Sheikh, counsel for Surjeet Singh alias Makhan Khan, told APP on Wednesday that his client had been arrested by Pakistani police on charges of spying during former President Ziaul Haq’s regime and was awarded the death sentence by a court in 1985.
Later in 1989, his punishment was commuted to life imprisonment by former president Ghulam Ishaq Khan as part of a general order to commute all death sentences awarded during the military regime.
On Tuesday night, President Asif Ali Zardari ordered for Singh’s release as a goodwill gesture. The convict has already completed his stipulated punishment.
Singh’s release was ordered late Tuesday night, after the government clarified that Sarabjeet Singh, as was being widely reported, was not being released.
It is unclear how the mix-up took place – whether it was official quarters whose information was mistaken or if the reporting by the media confused the two.
Earlier on Wednesday, Indian Foreign Minister SM Krishna renewed India’s request for the immediate release of Sarabjeet Singh along with all other Indian nationals who have completed their prison terms.
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