Indian govt claims Pakistan denied consular access to comatose Sarabjit

Published: April 28, 2013
Indian prisoner Sarabjit Singh. PHOTO: FILE

Indian prisoner Sarabjit Singh. PHOTO: FILE

Indian prisoner Sarabjit Singh. PHOTO: FILE Sukhpreet Kaur (C), wife of Indian death row prisoner in Pakistan, Sarabjit Singh and Singh's daughter Swapandip (L), along with members of the Akhil Bhartiya Human Rights organisation (ABHRO), hold a candlelight vigil for the good health of Sarabjit Singh in Amritsar on April 27, 2013. PHOTO: AFP

LAHORE: Pakistan on Sunday denied consular access to Indian spy Sarabjit Singh, Indian government officials told AFP in New Delhi.

Comatose Singh is on death row, fighting for his life after being attacked by fellow inmates.

“Officials from the Indian High Commission in Pakistan were not allowed to visit Sarabjit Singh on Sunday. The authorities have also refused to share his medical updates with the Indian officials,” said a senior Indian official, speaking under the condition of anonymity.

The officer said the Indian foreign ministry is making “every possible attempt” to get information about Singh’s health and using every “diplomatic mechanism to get an update about the situation”.

“It is crucial for us to know about Singh’s health and Pakistan cannot deny information to India,” said another government official in New Delhi.

The Pakistan foreign ministry was not immediately available for comment.

The family of the Indian spy visited him in the ICU of Jinnah Hospital soon after reaching Pakistan from India on Sunday afternoon.

Four family members of Singh including his wife Sukhbir Kaur, his sister Dalbir Kaur and his two daughters arrived in Lahore through Wagha border.

The family was received by Singh’s lawyer Awais Sheikh, who accompanied them to the hospital where Medical Superintendent Sheikh Ijaz briefed them about Singh’s health condition.

Singh’s relatives stayed at the hospital for half an hour.

Advocate Sheikh told The Express Tribune that the India High Commission has arranged for the stay of Singh’s family at the Avari Hotel. He further said that the family was given 15-day visa for stay in Pakistan.

He added that Pakistan, on humanitarian grounds, issued visas to the family members.

Singh’s sister Dalbir Kaur thanked the people of Pakistan for their prayers for her brother’s recovery and hoped that he would get well soon and be allowed to return to India.

Singh’s lawyer earlier told AFP that his client had received threats following the execution of Afzal Guru. Guru was hanged in New Delhi on February 9 for his part in a deadly attack on the Indian parliament in 2001.

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Reader Comments (37)

  • Critique
    Apr 28, 2013 - 1:26PM

    And here we are, wasting taxpayer money on saving someone who should have been hanged 16 years ago. Sigh.


  • Apr 28, 2013 - 1:32PM

    Oh my God! they look so poor. If this poor woman’s son was a spy, she would be living a high life. The best way forward would be to move Sarabjit to India.


  • muhammad Asif PTI
    Apr 28, 2013 - 1:56PM

    Great Drama is being created to send him his home country. Well done Pak Government


  • usman
    Apr 28, 2013 - 2:03PM

    He is a terrorist and planted bombs in Pakistan and killed many people, I wounder why Pakistan is showing so much flexibility for him?


  • MYKF
    Apr 28, 2013 - 2:07PM

    Welcome, we as Pakistani welcome you for your great cause, and we will release your brave son with all the honors and rewards he deserve because we as a nation have no honor left, we are out of our sense.


  • Ahmad
    Apr 28, 2013 - 2:12PM

    Army jawans killed recently on border by indians
    afzal guru hanging
    and list goes on …


  • Iqbal
    Apr 28, 2013 - 2:35PM

    I note that there is a lot of nationalist views being offered by both Pakistani and Indian readers. My advice to them is to read independent reports and make their own judgement. I found this report which sums up the current issue:
    Note it is written by M Ilyas Khan and his view “The confusion is typical of the murky political world of Pakistan” and also note British lawyer’s quote “I cannot believe the incompetence of the president of Pakistan’s office…”
    I also note that he was tried by a military court. As everyone knows in the West military courts have a predetermined verdict even before the case starts.
    When will the military courts start convicting other terrorists in Pakistan? Am I surprised Pakistan is a failed nation?


  • expaki
    Apr 28, 2013 - 2:41PM

    @Dr Priyanka: Priyanka Sahiba, “If this poor woman’s son was a spy, she would be living a
    and has paid more than for his share.India should take this matter to “highest moral and
    brotherly authority of Pakistan” to let this guy go home.


  • yousuf
    Apr 28, 2013 - 2:41PM

    Another drama being created to send, him to India, and shakeel afridi to USA


  • S.M.Abdul Qadir
    Apr 28, 2013 - 3:00PM

    He is a terrorist he should not be deported to India.If he is survived he should be hanged as being done in India in Afzal Guru case


  • Enlightened
    Apr 28, 2013 - 3:01PM

    Sarabjit should be allowed to return to India for further treatment and avoid worsening of relations between the two countries.


  • Rex Minor
    Apr 28, 2013 - 3:21PM

    Let the President of Pakistan be wise enough to authorise the pardon and put an end to the torture of a human. Those who claim to be muslims must also recognise that Mr Singh above all is a human, a sinner and liable for mistakes but is entitled for forgiveness.

    Pakistan should aim at becoming a country of law which reflects the values of Islam, is bein followed by the European Union and not the one which is pacticed in the USA..

    Rex Minor


  • goggi
    Apr 28, 2013 - 3:29PM

    Pardoning him and letting this half-dead man accompany his family back to India, would be surely a noble gesture of compassion.


  • Dr Dang
    Apr 28, 2013 - 3:52PM

    “He is a terrorist and planted bombs in Pakistan and killed many people, I wounder why Pakistan is showing so much flexibility for him?”

    — because he is not a Terrorist.


  • Riz
    Apr 28, 2013 - 4:00PM

    @Indians: i feel ashamed on this incident. Although he committed a crime and killed so many Pakistanis but on humanity grounds, i say this should have been prevented.


  • hiui
    Apr 28, 2013 - 4:20PM

    @Riz: And I am ashamed of having pakistanis like you in our country. He is a terrorist. He should have been hanged long time ago. Why show mercy? Were your parents brothers sisters killed in the attack? huh


  • Polpot
    Apr 28, 2013 - 5:00PM

    @Critique: “And here we are, wasting taxpayer money”
    Since almost no one pays any taxes in Pakistan you should compalin why are we wasting CSF money:)


  • Azeez
    Apr 28, 2013 - 5:01PM

    @Ahmad: Afsal guru was not a pakistani


  • Polpot
    Apr 28, 2013 - 5:01PM

    “Indian govt claims Pakistan denied consular access to comatose Sarabjit”
    Its a pity that ET cannot confirm or deny the truth behind the claim.
    Or is it that the truth is embarrassing?


  • Polpot
    Apr 28, 2013 - 5:29PM

    “The Pakistan foreign ministry was not immediately available for comment.”
    What? the The Pakistan foreign ministry is losing its touch..normally they would deny and then inquire whats the denial for.


  • Insaan
    Apr 28, 2013 - 5:54PM

    @muhammad Asif PTI:
    The guy is near death, to you it seems like a drama. Recommend

  • Polpot
    Apr 28, 2013 - 6:21PM

    Not a single Pakistani politician has anything to say anything about the murderous attack on Sarabjit
    Curious! Mighty Curious!


  • vijay
    Apr 28, 2013 - 6:56PM

    @Ahmad: Was Afsal Guru your citizen? First worry about your citizens killed by your own terrorist instead of Indian citizen.


  • goggi
    Apr 28, 2013 - 7:32PM

    The inhuman handling of our country with this man and all these pro and a few contra comments testify the truth of the saying i.e. vengeance is sweet!

    A reminder, that we humans are the most vicious predators of the planet, who sadistically inflict pain and kill each other for mere pleasure!


  • goggi
    Apr 28, 2013 - 7:46PM

    The inhuman handling of our country with this man in their imprisonment and all these Pro and a few Contra comments testify the human nature in the saying, “vengeance is sweet”!

    A reminder, that we humans are the most vicious predators of this planet, who have pleasure inflicting pain and killing each other!


  • Kulwant Singh
    Apr 28, 2013 - 8:54PM

    @S.M.Abdul Qadir:
    I fail to understand why u equate him with Afzal Guru Afzal Guru was a Indian citizen yes u mat equate him with Kasab but ur country denied to admit that Kasab is ur citizen and secondly in Kasab case he was tried by the court with ample evidence he was caught on cctv camra friring and killing innocent people whereas there is no evidence againt Sarabjit Singh the punishment was awarded on his admission before police and no court accept the confession statement given to police because such statements are taken under duress using third degree the same is being done by police in India.


  • Arijit Sharma.
    Apr 28, 2013 - 8:59PM

    The comments are an improvement. At least no Pakistani quotes how ONLY Islam guarantees rights to prisoners.


  • Tan
    Apr 28, 2013 - 9:27PM

    Well. i have learnt that forgiving is the best revenge. why cant people fogive? for a second, let’s say that he did what he is accused for. but he has paid for what he did. Only he has not suffered himself but his family specially daughters and wife too. I think we should let the family reunite and let him go home. Second thing, I really dont think that we as pakistanis should talk about guru’s prosecution because he was indian citizen and we must not interfare in other country’s internal matters. The same thing i would say for India too. India must not jump into our problems.


  • Gratgy
    Apr 28, 2013 - 11:10PM

    I hope Pakistani prisoners in Indian jails do not face repurcussions


    Apr 28, 2013 - 11:21PM

    The only reason this poor guy will probably die is that he is a poor farmer. Had he enough connections then he would be roaming free.Recommend

  • Saim Baig
    Apr 28, 2013 - 11:39PM

    Indian attitude made me say this “Pakistan should have denied consular access to Sarabjit Singh


  • Apr 29, 2013 - 12:54AM

    and pray who would that be?


  • American Pride Eagle
    Apr 29, 2013 - 2:03AM

    Don’t send terrorists and spies to our country and may be you won’t have to beg for ‘compassion. ‘ We know fully well how our prisoners are treated across the border. As for Afzal Guru, the poor man was hanged after a sham trial where no direct evidence was found against him. According to the court hanging Afzal Guru ‘had to be hanged’ in order to pacify the ‘communal sense of justice.’ Give me a break. Also, why is it being conveniently forgotten than the state of J&K is a disputed territory NOT according to Pakistan but according to the United Nations through its resolutions, therefore any claims of J&K inhabitants being citizens of any country are not only laughable, they are false.. It is, sadly, another case of selective application of principle whereby it is only accepted when it suits a party.


    Apr 29, 2013 - 2:34PM

    Kashmir is Pakistan.


  • robinhoodpandey
    Apr 29, 2013 - 3:22PM

    @american pride eagle

    afzal guru was not a pakistani…he was indian….have some knowledge before commenting


  • Pro
    Apr 29, 2013 - 4:20PM

    Does someone remember the great celebrations, people jumping with joy and exchanging sweets across India when Guru and Kasab were punished?


  • holyme
    Apr 30, 2013 - 3:46AM

    No, he is a spy for India. When you are a spy I think, I am not one, but I think it is part and parcel of the job. If you die in a foreign land you will be decorated in your home land. Also India inherently never listens to Pakistan and what about killing that innocent Pakistani soldier just a few months ago when he was surrendering. Don’t play dumb India as Pakistan is not stupid either.


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