India again seeks mercy for Sarabjit

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 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,” he added. Mukherjee’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.

Television channels, meanwhile, quoted sources in Pakistan as saying that the hanging has been deferred by a few more days. The reports could not be confirmed. Pakistani rights activist Ansar Burney was quoted by PTI as saying that he would file a fresh appeal with Musharraf seeking clemency for Sarabjit.

 

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