Jubilant over the indefinite stay on Sarabjit Singh’s execution, his family is now almost certain that the alleged Indian spy’s 18-year incarceration in Pakistan is nearing its end.
His delighted daughters said they planned to marry their parents one more time to mark the beginning of their new life together after Sarabjit returns home.
“It is now almost certain that my father will be released... We are thinking that on Papa’s return, we will resolemnise his wedding with our mother, so they can start life afresh,” Sarabjit’s elder daughter Swapandeep said.
The news of the indefinite stay on Sarabjit’s hanging — postponed twice already — broke late on Friday night, and was carried in some editions of Hindustan Times.
On Saturday, as the news was confirmed, Bhikiwind exploded in joy. Relatives, neighbours, sympathisers and reporters thronged Sarabjit’s family home.
The family expressed gratitude to the governments of India and Pakistan, human rights activists and others who played a role in getting his death sentence postponed thrice. The family also offered prayers in the village gurdwara.
Sarabjit’s sister Dalbir Kaur said that the Pakistani government had showed compassion and generosity in postponing the death sentence of an “innocent person on humanitarian grounds”.
Dalbir expressed the hope that her brother would be released soon, and appealed to the governments of India and Pakistan to release prisoners from either side so a bridge of friendship and trust is built between the two countries.
She said the family was grateful to Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, the new government of Pakistan, Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, Leader of the Opposition LK Advani, and human rights activists like Ansar Burney and Nirmala Deshpande who lobbied for Sarabjit’s release.