Notwithstanding what the government said, the Pakistani media exposed ill-treatment meted out to Indian prisoner Sarabjit Singh in Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat jail and pulled jail authorities for their failure to provide him adequate safety.
The Dawn newspaper in an editorial asked why Sarabjit Singh was not considered a “prisoner at risk” considering he was high-profile prisoner with “political and diplomatic” overtones.
The newspaper also said that the global practice is to provide greater security to convicts like him, who, because of nature of their crime or identity are subjected to the ire of other inmates.
Singh was allegedly assaulted a week ago with iron rods and bricks by two inmates of Kot Lakhpat jail when he was walking outside his cell.
The attack was planned, another Pakistani newspaper The News reported, putting the blame on jail authorities for his death.
Geo TV was first to report that the jail authorities failed to prevent attack on Sarabjit even though they were present there.
The News said the jail authorities took over an hour to take Sarabjit to Jinnah Hospital, a reason for Sarabjit’s family blaming the Pakistan government for his death.
The Express Tribune, in its editorial, said the incident appears to be linked with hanging of Afzal Guru in Tihar Jail in India and apparent vengeance sought for this was on a man who obviously had no role to play in that event.
“It is rather absurd that, despite these warnings, he could not be kept safe in jail,” the newspaper said, while pulling up Inspector General (Jails) for failing to initiate an inquiry personally.
The newspaper, however, appreciated the Pakistan government’s gesture allowing Indian consular access to Sarabjit in Lahore’s Jinnah’s hospital.
After attack on Sarabjit, the Pakistani newspapers attacked the jail authorities for failing to prevent incidents of violence in jails.
“We have seen similar acts of violence in our prisons…action needs to be taken against those responsible,” said the Dawn
The Express Tribune said attack on Sarabjit could have been prevented if the jail authorities were more vigilant.
Not just media but some common Pakistani’s expressed their sadness over his death. “Spy or not, he was in Pak custody & was our responsibility,” said Wajahat S Khan.
Another person, Ahmed Qureshi tweeted said that Sarabjit waited for justice for 22 years, which never came.