‘Mere suspicion often form basis of espionage charges’

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Jul 05, 2014 11:05 IST

Indian prisoner Sarabjit Singh’s lawyer Awais Sheikh said that false charges of espionage were common phenomena on both sides of the border.

In the city to promote his book ‘Samjhota Express’, he was speaking to students at KB DAV school, Sector 7.

Sheikh said that technology was so advanced that people sitting at an intelligence unit in United States could keep an eye on military installations in another part of the world.

“Mere suspicion often becomes the basis for charging a person with espionage. Mistrust and confrontation between two countries are the attributed as the reasons for such cases,” Sheikh said.

Sheikh defended Indian death row prisioner Sarabjit Singh for several years, before he took asylum in Sweden following an alleged abduction bid on him a day before Singh was murdered in Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat jail in May 2013.

Sheikh’s book will be relaunched on July 9 in Delhi.

“Taking up the cases of Indian prisoners is not an easy job, when two countries are in conflict and follow the policies of confrontation. While pleading the cause of Indian prisoners like Sarbjit Singh, there were many phases when my faith in humanity was sorely tested. However, I did not give in to the despair,” he said.

He praised the Modi government’s initiative of inviting Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and said that the latter’s response was also welcome.

“I hope it continues .However, we have people on both sides of border who do not want peace; we have to ensure that they do not succeed in their motives,” he said while urging Indian government to help Pakistan, which is fighting terror elements in the country.

He advocated the formation of a union along the lines of the European Union in the continent and said that key to improve confidence building measures was to maintain a government-to-government and people to people contact irrespective of the circumstances.

He claimed that after he left Pakistan last year, Indian prisoners could not find lawyers to fight their cause for the fear of being attacked by militants.

Former union cabinet minister and ex-MP of Chandiagrh, Pawan Kumar Bansal, the chief guest on the occasion, that both the countries (IndiaPakistan) had a common enemy-poverty.

“It is essential to ensure that we do not lose track of this, irrespective of the provocation, and are not blinded by our preconceived notions.”

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