Renewing its appeal to free Sarabjit Singh, New Delhi on Wednesday said it is still awaiting a clear picture on the circumstances surrounding Pakistan’s flip-flop in this regard.
“We have always taken up the unfortunate case of Sarabjit Singh, who has spent 20 years in prison. This is a good time for the Government of Pakistan to take a lenient, humanitarian view. I can very well understand the agony his family must have gone through. I also appeal to the government of Pakistan to release all Indian nationals who have completed their prison terms,” external affairs minister SM Krishna said.
Krishna’s statement followed Pakistan’s volte face about releasing Sarabjit on Tuesday night. Though some high-ranking officials had earlier confirmed reports of the convict receiving a presidential pardon, the government later clarified that the person concerned was Surjeet, another long-time Indian prisoner, not Sarabjit.
Some MEA officials said the misunderstanding could be a reflection of the division within the Pakistan establishment over the issue. “I urge Pakistan to take a sympathetic and humanitarian view in the case of Sarabjit Singh,” Krishna said, adding that a report has been sought from the Indian high commission in Islamabad on the reported flip-flop over his release.
Sarabjit, who has been in custody for well over two decades, is serving a death sentence for his alleged complicity in a series of blasts in the Punjab province in 1990.