'Pak to consider if Sarabjit could be pardoned' | world | Hindustan Times
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'Pak to consider if Sarabjit could be pardoned'

world Updated: May 10, 2008 22:55 IST

Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani personally believes that Indian national Sarabjit Singh, sentenced to death by a local court for alleged involvement in bomb attacks, should be pardoned and has asked President Pervez Musharraf to review his case.

He said his personal beliefs in the matter were the reason why he had recently written to Musharraf to stop Sarabjit's execution, which was scheduled for May 1. Pakistani authorities last week put off Sarabjit's hanging indefinitely.

"I have advised the president that he should stop (Sarabjit's) execution and it should be reviewed by the ministries of interior, foreign affairs, law and justice and human rights," Gilani told interviewer Karan Thapar on the programme "Devil's Advocate".

The prime minister added this was the reason why Sarabjit's execution was put off recently.

Asked if he believed that Sarabjit should be pardoned, Gilani, who spent several years in jail after being arrested on charges of illegally giving jobs to people during his tenure as Speaker of the National Assembly, said: "That is the reason I have advised the president. Now it's up to the ministries to take a decision."

Replying to a question on whether he had sought a review for giving him pardon, he said: "They (the ministries) will think on those lines. They will consider whether the case is fit or whether the case is not fit and they will take a decision."

Sarabjit was originally set to be hanged on April 1, and his execution was initially deferred for 30 days by Musharraf. This was done so that Pakistan's new government led by Gilani could review his case following an appeal for clemency from the Indian government.