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India asks Pakistan to see reason, release Sarabjit

IANS  New Delhi, May 01, 2013
First Published: 16:39 IST(1/5/2013) | Last Updated: 22:34 IST(1/5/2013)

India's high commissioner on Wednesday met Pakistan's foreign secretary in Islamabad and requested for immediate release of Sarabjit Singh, the Indian death row prisoner battling for life in a Lahore hospital, on "humanitarian and sympathetic" grounds.

India also proposed that Pakistan could also send Sarabjit to a third country for medical treatment, said the ministry of external affairs in in Delhi. 

"We are concerned at the condition of Shri Sarabjit Singh indicated by reports made available by doctors treating him in Jinnah Hospital," said a statement issued here by the ministry.

"Our High Commissioner has met the Pakistan Foreign Secretary and urged the Government of Pakistan to immediately release Shri Sarabjit Singh on humanitarian and sympathetic grounds so that he can benefit from the best available treatment in India," it said.

"Alternatively we have also proposed that Shri Sarabjit Singh should be sent to a third country for proper medical treatment," the statement added.

"This is not the time for invoking legal and bureaucratic reasons for not taking the right steps to save a human life. We believe that every endeavour should be made to save his life," the statement said.

Sarabjit, 49, had suffered critical head injuries in the unprovoked and sudden assault at Lahore's Kot Lakhpat jail on April 26. He has been on ventilator life support at Lahore's Jinnah Hospital since then.

Sarabjit's family claims he is innocent, and was arrested when he crossed over to Pakistan. Police in Pakistan, however, claimed that Sarabjit Singh, known as Manjit Singh, was  involved in terrorist strikes.

Sarabjit's family returned from Pakistan on Wednesday and said they were determined to plead for him with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the Congress president and others.

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