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HindustanTimes Thu,10 Jul 2014

Burney to visit India to meet Sarabjit's kin

Rezaul H Laskar, PTI  Islamabad, March 27, 2008
First Published: 10:31 IST(27/3/2008) | Last Updated: 15:58 IST(27/3/2008)

Leading rights activist Ansar Burney, who was the Human Rights Minister in Pakistan's caretaker government, will visit India next month to meet the family of Sarabjit Singh and gather any evidence about his innocence and to trace Pakistani prisoners in Indian jails.

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Burney said he would go to India on April 2 at the invitation of Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.

"I plan to meet Sarabjit's family and his sister Dalbir Kaur to gather evidence they claim to have regarding his innocence. This will make it easier for me to work for his case," Burney told PTI on Thursday.

"At the same time, I will also try and meet the Pakistani prisoners who are in Indian jails. Obviously I will also try and do whatever is possible for their release," he said.

President Pervez Musharraf had on March 19 deferred the hanging of Sarabjit, scheduled for April 1, by 30 days after receiving an appeal for clemency from the Indian government and the condemned man's family.

Sarabjit was sentenced to death in 1991 for his alleged involvement in four bomb blasts in Lahore and Multan that killed 14 people.

His family denies he is a spy as claimed by Pakistan and insists he accidentally strayed into Pakistani territory.

Earlier this week, Burney asked Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gillani to convert Sarabjit's death sentence into life imprisonment on humanitarian grounds.


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