NEW DEHLI: India on Thursday asked Pakistan to take a humanitarian view and release Sarabjit Singh, an Indian national on death row following his conviction for involvement in bomb attacks in that country in 1990, Press Trust of India (PTI) reported.
Indian External Affairs Minister SM Krishna said in Rajya Sabha that Sarabjit Singh has been sentenced to death on September 15, 1991 on allegations that he was involved in three bomb blasts in Lahore and one in Multan. "It is not our case that he was involved (in those blasts)," he said during Question Hour. "We don't share that." India has taken up the matter with Government of Pakistan "very seriously," he said. With Sarabjit's mercy petition pending before Pakistan President, he said, "it is necessary for them to take a humanitarian view" of the petition.
Krishna said there are 558 Indian nationals in custody in Pakistan. Of them, 232 are civilian prisoners, 252 fishermen and 74 missing defence personnel. The missing defence personnel include 54 Prisoners of War since 1971.
"Government of Pakistan has acknowledged presence of only 72 Indian civilian prisoners and 237 fishermen lodged in Pakistani jails. Pakistan does not acknowledge the presence of any Missing Defence Personnel in its custody," he said.