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Imran Khan's party wants death for Sarabjit

world Updated: Nov 22, 2012 09:06 IST
Imtiaz Ahmad
Imtiaz Ahmad

The hanging of Ajmal Kasab has generated uncertainty about the fate of Sarabjit Singh, who is on death row in Pakistan on charges of spying.

Already, Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek Insaf party (PTI) has demanded that the Pakistan government hang Sarabjit and "all other Indian terrorists given the death sentence" in retaliation.

"India waited for less than a month after the final verdict by their judiciary and we are protecting the terrorists for the last eight years," said PTI leader Naeemullah Khan. The party organised a demonstration in Multan, blaming Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari for being the "biggest hurdle" to the execution of terrorists.

The PTI has demanded that all other political parties support their cause. Zia Khan of the PTI accused the ruling party of being "more loyal to India than to the people of Pakistan".

Singh's relatives, meanwhile, fear for him. "We were hoping that Sarabjit would be released, now those hopes are fading," Dalbir Kaur, Sarabjit's sister told reporters from her home in India.

In Lahore, Sarabjit's lawyer Awais Shaikh said this has made the release of his client "much harder". But he expressed hope that his client would be released eventually. "I see a delay, but not the end of the road," he said.

There were expectations that Sarabjit's release would be timed with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Pakistan, expected to take place within the next couple of months. Sarabjit's family had withdrawn certain appeals in the court last month to clear the decks for a presidential pardon.