Asserting that the death of Indian prisoner Sarabjit Singh has "hurt" people-to-people ties between India and Pakistan, external affairs minister Salman Khurshid on Thursday hoped that the tragedy will help understand the the cost of "hostility" between the two countries.
"For the present, I can only say that it is a terrible psychological and emotional setback to all of us and I believe to what we have been trying to do in terms of creating greater cohesion between people of India and people of Pakistan," he told reporters in New Delhi.
Khurshid said, "Governments can sometimes disagree, governments can sometimes sit together and talk but a sustainable and long-lasting relationship has to be between people and I think that today has been very, very sadly, in a very distressing manner, that is a relationship that has been hurt by this terrible tragedy."
The minister said, "I hope that this terrible event and this tragedy will contribute something to at least the understanding of the human element of the cost of hostility between our two countries."
He said that he will inform Parliament about the incident in detail.
Conveying his condolence to 49-year-old Sarabjit's family, Khurshid said he understood their anguish and pain. "I pray that God will give them strength to bear this loss."
Sarabjit died of cardiac arrest in a Lahore hospital in the wee hours today after being comatose for nearly a week following a brutal assault by fellow inmates in a high- security Pakistani jail.