Pakistan ignores India's clemency plea for Sarabjit Singh

22 April, 2008

The relations between India and Pakistan are expected to worsen further with the Pakistan Government tightening its stand on the capital execution for the Indian national Sarabjit Singh.

India has been asking Pakistan for a liberal treatment toward Sarabjit, who was sentenced to death for his alleged involvement in bomb attacks in Pakistan. A presidential spokesperson said on April 19, 2008, that punishment would not be postponed further. The hanging of Sarabjit was deferred for 30 days by President Pervez Musharraf, in March 2008, so that Pakistan's new government could review his case following an appeal for clemency from the Indian government.

Sarabjit Singh was originally set to be executed on April 1, 2008. Presidential spokesperson Maj Gen (retd) Rashid Qureshi denied reports in the Pakistani media that Sarabjit's execution had been postponed for another month. The Indian government had on April 20, 2008, appealed to the Pakistan government to grant clemency to Sarabjit on humanitarian grounds. But the Pakistan government had not responded to the External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee's appeal.

Meanwhile Sarabjit Singh had made a special request to the Pakistani authorities to be allowed to meet his daughter Poonam. He had not met her as he was in a Pakistan jail.

He had conveyed the request when officials of the Indian High Commission met him at Kot Lakhpat jail in Lahore. Sarabjit's daughters, Swapandeep and Poonam, and wife Sukhpreet Kaur are coming to Pakistan along with his sister Dalbir Kaur and her husband Baldev Singh on April 23, 2008 to meet him. Sarabjit, who Pakistan claims is Manjit Singh, was sentenced to death in 1991 for his alleged involvement in four bomb blasts that killed 14 people.






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