India has again appealed to Pakistan to spare the life of Sarabjit Singh, a death row prisoner in a Lahore jail, whose life hangs in balance after Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf stayed his execution till April 30.
“I would appeal to the authorities in Pakistan to show clemency to Shri Sarabjit Singh, an Indian prisoner who has been in (a) Pakistani jail since 1990 and who has been under sentence of death for the last 17 years,” External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said on Friday.
“Whatever the legal position may be, on humanitarian grounds alone, I would hope that mercy could be shown to this unfortunate human being,” Mukherjee added.
Clearly, the Minister’s remarks are an acknowledgement of how seriously New Delhi looks at the prospect of Sarabjit’s hanging and its likely impact on India-Pakistan relations.
Mukherjee’s statement also takes into account that Sarabjit has exhausted all the legal remedies available to him, but stresses that Pakistan should show “mercy” and spare the Indian national’s life. Sarabjit’s mercy petition was rejected by Musharraf last month.