“Sarabjit Singh’s family is hopeful that he will receive a presidential pardon and be released before the Indian prime minister’s visit to Pakistan,” Singh’s Counsel Advocate Awais Sheikh said on Tuesday.
Sheikh told a press conference at the Lahore Press Club that Singh and his family had high hopes from the PM’s visit.
He said that Singh, on death row, should be released as a ‘good will gesture’.
He said Singh had been accused in the case sue to a mistaken identity.
He said Singh, in a letter written recently to his family, had claimed that he was being poisoned in jail and that there was constant pain in his left.
He wrote that the jail officials did not provide him any medicine and gave him substandard food.
Sheikh, who recently returned from India, said that the Indian government was also very concerned about Singh’s detention.
He said that the Indian High Commissioner had written a letter to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs seeking permission to meet Singh. He had also asked the Pakistani government to issue visas to Singh’s family members who had wanted to see him for the last 22 years that he has been in jail in Pakistan.
Sheikh demanded that the foreigner prisoners, who had served their entire jail sentence but remained in jails for lack of paper work, be kept at a guest house and not in the jails.
He said a court in 2011 had ordered the release 32 Indian prisoners, who had completed their jail term, but they were still ‘languishing’ in jails despite lapse of nine months.
He said during his visit to India, he had taken with him a list of 24 Pakistani prisoners in Indian jails and requested the Indian government for their release.
He said he participated in various conferences and seminars where Indians asked him questions about the recent Hindu migrations from Pakistan.
The lawyer said Indians were concerned about Hindus living in Pakistan and ‘really upset’ about news of the migration.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 5th, 2012.
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