Amid appeals for clemency for Sarabjit Singh by his family and human rights activists, hundreds of students in this Pakistan city took to the streets demanding that the Indian death row prisoner not be pardoned.
The students marched in the city on Friday and sought withdrawal of all official moves to pardon Sarabjit, sentenced to death for alleged involvement in the 1990 blasts in the Punjab province. They also said he should not be made out to be a “hero”.
The demonstrators termed former Pakistani human rights minister Ansar Burney, who has sent a mercy petition on behalf of Sarabjit to President Pervez Mushrraf, an “Indian agent”, The News daily reported on Saturday.
The students said if Sarabjit is released, they would launch a joint movement against the government.
The demands were made by student leaders while addressing a conference outside Lahore Press Club. They also protested against an anti-Quran movie by a Dutch lawmaker.
Tulaba Jamaatud Dawah chief Muzammil Iqbal Hashmi demanded that Burney should be arrested and tried for treason. He said the release of Sarabjit would “humiliate” the whole nation.
Holding banners and placards, the students shouted slogans and blocked roads. Their leaders also demanded a boycott of western products and culture and promotion of Islamic teachings.
Sarabjit's April 1 hanging was deferred for 30 days by President Pervez Musharraf.