Indian national Sarabjit Singh, accused of being involved in a bombing incident, would be hanged on April 1, Pakistani officials announced on Sunday. Pakistan’s Supreme Court had rejected his appeal for clemency and President Musharraf also rejected his mercy petition this month.
<b1>Sarabjit Singh has been in jail in Pakistan since 1990. “His death warrants have been issued and we have received them. He will be executed /hangedon April 1,” deputy chief of Lahore’s high-security Kot Lakhpat prison Shabbar Khan said.
Singh’s lawyer Abdul Hameed Rana said that Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf could still pardon his client, “but India also needs to reciprocate the move and release all such Pakistani prisoners.”
Sarabjit is being seen as the first victim of the Kashmir Singh revelation that he was indeed a spy. At the time of Kashmir’s release earlier this month, Human Rights Minister Ansar Burney had appealed to Musharraf to release Kashmir as no charges had been proved against him and he had been in jail for nearly 35 years. On the basis of this plea, he was pardoned and set free to return to India.
However, the public disclosure by Kashmir Singh that he was indeed an Indian spy sealed the fate of those Indians wishing to be freed under the same plea, say observers.