Indian prisoner Sarabjit Singh has written another letter to President Asif Ali Zardari requesting for his pardon. Additionally, former Indian Supreme Court judge Justice Markandey Katju followed suit by requesting government functionaries and human rights activists to play their role in Sarabjit’s release.
In his one-page letter, a copy of which is available with The Express Tribune, Sarabjit said he was in a death cell since the past 22 years. He said Indian people believe in his innocence and are continuously appealing for his release. He added that as he was not nominated in the FIR and his counsel had provided the president with proof of involvement of the nominated accused Manjeed Singh, his criminal activities and his frequent visits to Pakistan.
He also mentioned that the revision of his appeal was dismissed by the Supreme Court for non prosecution only because of lack of seriousness on part of his former counsel. He questioned if the life of an Indian was in anyway less important than that of a Pakistani – because of which he was not given his right to defend himself. He further added that a statement was recorded but the special court was misquoted him, arguing that he had never confessed to being an agent of RAW or being involved in any kind of terrorist activities.
Requesting his release on August 14, Sarabjit complained how spokesperson to the president Farhatullah Babar withdrew the statement of his release leaving him and many others in dismay.
Justice Markandey Katju
In an email sent to Sarabjit’s counsellor, Awais Sheikh, Justice Markandey Katju said he was convinced that the accused was not involved in the Lahore blast although he might be guilty of illegally crossing the border and having a liquor business in Pakistan. Katju also wrote that he believes that Sarabjit had confessed under pressure, adding that him and Dr Chisti are just victims of a mindset in which people from an enemy state are considered to be enemies.
The email has been sent by Katju to social activists Asma Jahangir and Chaudhry Fawad Husain, as well as to senators Babar and Iqbal Haider. He has also sent the email to Indian actor Salman Khan who is known for championing social causes.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 14th, 2012.
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