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Pak considers mercy plea for Sarabjit Singh

world Updated: May 03, 2008 20:09 IST

Reuters
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Pakistan said on Thursday it was actively considering an Indian plea for clemency for Sarabjit Singh, an Indian man condemned to death for spying and carrying out bomb blasts in Pakistan.

President Pervez Musharraf last month rejected a mercy plea from Singh, but deferred his execution until April 30 after a request from the Indian government.

"The issue is under active consideration," Pakistan's Foreign Office spokesman Mohammad Sadiq told a weekly news conference.

"We have received a request from the Indian government ... and a decision will be taken in due course," he added.

His comments came as members of Singh's family were visiting Pakistan to meet him in a prison in the eastern city of Lahore.

Singh was sentenced to death in 1991 for spying and carrying out four bomb blasts that killed 14 people, but his family said he was innocent and had crossed the border into Pakistan accidentally in 1990 while he was drunk.

Pakistani officials said Singh was arrested while trying to slip back into India after the bomb blasts.

Nuclear-armed India and Pakistan have fought three wars since the partition of British-ruled India in 1947. They began a peace process in 2004.

But despite better relations, the neighbours remain deeply suspicious of each other.

In March, Pakistan freed an Indian man who spent 35 years on death row in a Pakistani jail on spying charges.

A Pakistani national, who went to India to watch a cricket match in 2005, was arrested and died in an Indian prison in February this year.

Pakistan has asked India to explain the death of the man, whose family said had lost his passport, after being detained and tortured in prison.