Chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Friday urged the Union government to make concerted efforts to ensure early release of all innocent Indian prisoners languishing in foreign jails, especially in Pakistan.
Talking to media persons after attending the funeral of Sarabjit Singh, who was brutally killed in a Pakistan jail, the chief minister said that the Centre should tap all diplomatic channels to ensure an early release of innocent Indian prisoners so that they could reunite with their families back home.
The Union government must raise this issue on all international fora and with the countries concerned so that these innocent prisoners could return safely to their motherland, Badal added.
The chief minister pointed out that it was the duty of the Centre to bring these innocent prisoners back home, apart from ensuring their safety in foreign jails, by raising these issues at the appropriate level.
Expressing grief and sorrow over the death of Sarabjit, the chief minister said that he was a martyr of the nation, adding that the state government would take all steps to ensure the well- being of his family.
Reiterating that the country must know the exact cause of Sarabjit's death, he said that the Union government must build up international pressure to get the causes of his death investigated by a neutral international agency. Exhorting the people to remain calm in this hour of grief and crisis, he said that though the sentiments of the countrymen have been hurt by the merciless killing of Sarabjit the need of the hour was to maintain communal harmony and peace.
Replying to another query, the chief minister categorically said that the Punjab government was committed to ensure the safety and security of Pakistani prisoners lodged in state jails, adding that he had asked Director General of Police (prisons) to beef up security of such prisoners to avoid any untoward incident.