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Top terrorist against release of Sarabjit Singh

The Indian death row prisoner's family now pins hopes on Gilani’s government to abolish the death sentence. Kamal Siddiqi & Kuldeep Mann report.

world Updated: Apr 30, 2008 03:51 IST

Back home after spending one-week in Pakistan, the family of Sarabjit Singh — Indian death row prisoner in that country — now pins hopes on the move of the Yusuf Raza Gilani’s government to abolish death sentence. “We hope that the Pakistan government would amend the law to abolish death sentence during the next three weeks and this would help Sarabjit among 6,000 other death row prisoners, to evade death sentence,” said Dalbir Kaur, sister of Sarabjit, minutes after stepping into Indian-territory on Tuesday. Sister Dalbir Kaur, who met Sarabjit along with other family members at Kotlakhpat jail in Lahore, said she spent 48 minutes with him after a gap of 18 years.

“I could not even hug my brother and he could not hug his daughters, since he was kept separated by bars. It was very tough time for him when he met his family members and he was struggling hard to hold back his tears,” she said. “During the meeting, Sarabjit himself prepared tea for his family in the jail and we took it with sweets. Later, he also offered us cold drinks,” Kaur recalled.

Elaborating on their visit Dalbir said that the plight of an ‘innocent’ prisoner’s family moved one of the key witnesses Shakuat Salim to pour out his heart before a section of media that on the instances of prosecution agency he had recorded false testimony against Sarabjit.

She said that during their 48 minutes emotional meeting with Sarabjit at the jail in Lahore, her brother disclosed that the prosecution agency had done a grave injustice with him by destroying the file containing proofs about his innocence during the trials.

Kaur said that the families of victims of bomb blasts with which Sarabjit has been charged, knew nothing about the culprit behind the heinous crime and some of them had developed venomous hatred against Sarabjit on the basis of ‘misleading facts’ put forth by Pakistan security agencies.

“Now another deferment in his execution is off course a positive development, as we can hope that he would come back home safe, shortly,” said Sar0abjit’s wife Sukhpreet Kaur.

Poonam, who was barely one and half month old since her father went missing, was feeling satisfied to see him. “Papa wanted to hug each one of us but iron bars of the prison cell restricted him,” she said.

Meanwhile, Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, chief of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa, the parent wing of the Lashkar-e-Tayyeba, has come out against any move to free death row prisoner and Indian national Sarabjit Singh.
In a statement posted on the Jamaat website, Saeed said freeing Sarabjit would be equivalent to “ridiculing” the country’s courts.