Congress spokesman Sukhpal Khaira had flayed deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal for politicising the issue of brutal killing of Sarabjit Singh in Pakistani prison. “By shedding crocodile tears and doing the unfair criticism of the UPA government, Sukhbir is trying to take cheap political advantage over the issue,” Khaira said.
“First of all, junior Badal must explain as to what efforts he or his government has made to secure the release of Sarabjit Singh from the Pakistani jail? Did he make an effort to meet Sarabjit Singh during his visit to Pakistan last year? If the Punjab government can appoint expensive legal attorneys to defend Badals in the US court, did they try to give legal aid to Sarabjit Singh? Instead of receiving 13 cattle as gift from Shahbaz Sharif, chief minister of Pakistan's Punjab, the junior Badal should have used his offices to support the cause of Sarabjit Singh, but he never bothered,” Khaira added.
“Now by giving Rs 1 crore and jobs to the family of Sarabjit Singh, besides cremating him with state honour and announcing official mourning, had the SAD-BJP been fair to other Punjabi prisoners who served long sentences in Pakistan jails? As we are aware, Gopal Dass also spent 27 years in the Kot Lakhpat jail along with Sarabjit Singh but he is running from pillar to post without any government aid or job. So is the case of Karamat Rahi of Fatehgarh Churian, 70-year-old Vasdev Sharma from Jalandhar and 84-year-old Ajmer Singh Grewal of Ludhiana who served 39 years in a Pakistan jail and several other Punjabi's who are languishing in Pak jails. Has the junior Badal rendered any help to them,” Khaira questioned.
“We advise the junior Badal not to indulge in cheap political gimmickry over a dead man, merely because there is huge media galore,” Khaira said, cautioning the deputy CM “not to unnecessarily criticise the UPA government over an issue concerning Pakistan, as it would only weaken our country”.