What happened to Sarabjit Singh was inhuman, barbaric and not the way in which a civilised state treats its prisoners, information and broadcasting minister Manish Tewari said Thursday, labelling the Indian's death as Pakistan's "abject failure".
"It was abject failure of Pakistan. What happened was inhuman, barbaric and that is not the manner in which a civilised state treats prisoners in their custody," Tewari said on the death of the Indian death row prisoner, who died in Pakistan early Thursday after being brutally beaten by fellow inmates at a Lahore jail.
"An Indian prisoner has been murdered in cold blood in the custody of the Pakistan state, and they must be held accountable," he said.
"The Indian government had been repeatedly pursuing that a humanitarian view needed to be taken with Sarabjit Singh ever since 2005, when the prime minister of India had first brought it up with the Pakistan government," Tewari said.
"Our hearts, minds are one with the family of Sarabjit Singh. We stand by them and will do everything we can to facilitate the return of his body," he added.
Slamming the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for politicising the issue, he said the party did nothing to provide consular access to Sarabjit when it was in power.
"They (BJP) seek to politicise even something as tragic as the brutal death of an Indian citizen who has been brutally murdered. I would like to respectfully ask the BJP what they did when they were in power. They are shedding crocodile tears now, but did not even lift a single little finger to even provide consular access to Sarabjit," he said.
"I am sorry to use such language, but it really violates me as an Indian citizen to see how they are playing politics with the death of a political prisoner," Tewari added.