Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on Monday said he was hopeful that Sarabjit Singh and other Indians languishing in prisons in Pakistan for years would be released soon.
Sukhbir said he had raised the issue of Sarabjit's release as well as of those who had been jailed for petty crimes, with Mohammad Shahbaz Sharif, chief minister of Pakistani province Punjab.
The deputy chief minister said he had requested Sharif to persuade his country's federal government for considering Sarabjit's mercy plea.
Sukhbir was here to pay obeisance at Harmandar Sahib with his wife and Bathinda MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal and revenue minister Bikram Singh Majithia on Monday.
Sukhbir said he had impressed upon Sharif that Sarabjit had completed 22 years in jail and it was imperative for the Pakistani government to release him soon. This, Sukhbir hoped, would cement Indo-Pak ties.
The deputy chief minister inspected the progress of the plaza construction outside Harmandar Sahib. He suggested that the plaza have a pictorial display of the religious and cultural history of Sikhs so that the young generation visiting the shrine attain some knowledge of their roots.
He asked Amar Behl, who conceptualised the pictorial display at Virasat-e-Khalsa in Anandpur Sahib, to submit a plan for a similar one at Harmandar Sahib. He also asked the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) secretary to explore the possibility of holding a light and sound show on Sikh religion every evening.
On the recent Pakistan visit, Majithia said the trip would lead to strengthening of trade, commerce and sports ties between the two countries. The tour had got a positive response from the Pakistan Punjab government and they agreed to increase trade and commerce ties with India.
Also present were chief parliamentary secretary Inderbir Singh Bolaria, deputy commissioner Rajat Aggarwal, police commissioner Ram Singh and SGPC secretary Dalmegh Singh.