The family of Sarabjit Singh, an Indian prisoner on death row in Pakistan, has been issued visas in order to facilitate a meeting with the convicted Sikh in Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat jail.
A source in the Pakistan High Commission told HT that visas had been issued to Sarabjit’s sister Dalbir Kaur, wife Sukpreet Kaur, brother-in-law Baldev Singh and daughters Poonam Atwal and Swapandeep Gill on Wednesday.
Sarabjeet, sentenced to death for triggering multiple bomb blasts in Lahore and Multan, was to have been hanged on April 1, but his execution was deferred till April 30 by Pakistani authorities after a request was made by India. President Pervez Musharraf had rejected his mercy petition on March 3.
According to the source, the family members have been issued week-long visas and granted permission to cross the Attari-Wagah border on foot. They are expected to travel immediately.
Sarabjit’s best chance for clemency is the new civilian government that has taken power in Islamabad. Though he seems to have exhausted all legal avenues, a last-minute political decision in Pakistan could still save the Indian national’s life.
If Sarabjit is actually hanged, it would definitely introduce a negative tone in India-Pakistan relations.