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Sarabjit Singh's lawyer meets his family in Amritsar

IANS  Amritsar, August 15, 2009
First Published: 08:26 IST(15/8/2009) | Last Updated: 08:41 IST(15/8/2009)

The lawyer representing Sarabjit Singh, an Indian prisoner on a death row in Pakistan on terrorism charges, on Friday said the case of his client was crucial to ties between India and Pakistan.

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Owais Sheikh, who is the president of the Pakistan-India Peace Initiative and counsel for Sarabjit Singh, arrived in Amritsar to meet Sarabjit's family and obtain their signatures on his mercy petition.

"This case is crucial to Indo-Pakistan ties. Anything that happens to Sarabjit Singh would directly affect relations between India and Pakistan," Owais Sheikh said.

The Indian government had intervened last year to get Sarabjit's hanging postponed in Pakistan by taking up the matter diplomatically.

Counsel said he had filed an application for restoration of Sarabjit's case in the Pakistan Supreme Court and was filing a fresh mercy petition separately.

Sarabjit's family claims that he had crossed into Pakistan inadvertently in Aug 1990 in an inebriated state and was arrested there.

But the police in Pakistan claim Sarabjit Singh, who is known as Manjit Singh there, was involved in acts of terrorism. He has been convicted for two bombings in Lahore and Multan that left 14 people dead and many injured in 1990.

Sarabjit's family claims that it is a case of mistaken identity and has sought his release. His family, including two young daughters, had met him last year at Lahore's Kot Lakhpat jail.


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