Pakistan Foreign Minister Khursheed Mehmood Kasuri, who is on a private visit, met former External Affairs Minister Yashwant Sinha on Sunday. The other highlight of the day included his meeting with the family members of Sarabjit Singh who is facing the gallows in Pakistan, who pleaded for his release.
Dalbir Kaur, sister of death-row prisoner Sarabjit Singh, and his daughters Swapandeep Kaur and Poonam Kaur met Kasuri at a hotel in New Delhi. During their meeting, they cited the release from a Pakistan jail recently of Briton Mirza Tahir Hussain who had been sentenced to death in connection with a murder of a taxi driver in 1998.
"We requested the Minister that if Tahir can be set free so should be my brother," said Dalbir. Her brother faces execution in Pakistan on charges of spying and of series of bomb blasts in Lahore in 1990.
His family says Sarabjit has suffered a case of mistaken identity in Pakistan. "The Pakistani Foreign Minister told me that I should write to the Pakistani High Commission about whatever I have to say and that it would be forwarded to President Pervez Musharraf," Dalbir said, adding "I will do that". She also sought permission to visit her brother languishing in a Pakistani jail.
Later Kasuri told the media that he had told Sinha that there was a need to maintain the "momentum (of the peace process) regardless of whether one is in power or is in the opposition." He said the improvement of relations between the two sides requires bipartisan support in both countries.
"We are eagerly waiting for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit. Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has already visited New Delhi and now it is Singh's turn. Whenever there is a high profile visit, the bureaucracy in both countries works hard to make it a success," he said.
Kasuri, who is meeting External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee over lunch on Monday, said "all aspects of all issues, which have emphasis in India like Kashmir, Siachen or the anti-terror mechanism, will come up for discussion and there will be an earnest effort to find a resolution to all these."
Kasuri is in Delhi to attend the wedding of the daughter of Union Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar. He will also meet former Prime Minister IK Gujral and former external affairs minister K Natwar Singh during his stay.