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Kalam to make efforts for Sarabjit's release

The President assured the death row convict's family that he would talk to Musharraf on behalf of Indian Govt.

india Updated: Apr 12, 2006 15:21 IST

President APJ Abdul Kalam on Wednesday assured death row convict Sarabjit's family that he would personally talk to his Pakistani counterpart Pervez Musharraf and National Assembly members there on behalf of the Government of India for his release.

Dr Kalam also said all possible efforts would be made for the safe release of Sarabjit, Dalbir Kaur (Sarabjit's sister) told mediapersons at the Rashtrapati Bhawan soon after meeting the President on Wednesday morning.

"In his nearly 20-minute meeting, the President heard us patiently and sympathetically and said the Centre was taking steps to get Sarabjit back to India and that he would take personal initiative in talking to Pakistan Assembly members and President Musharraf in this regard."

To the family's request that they be allowed to go to meet Sarabjit in Pakistan, the President said they could leave a separate request for a passport at the Rashtrapati Bhawan, said Kaur.

Calling the rumour of Sarabjit having embraced Islam to further his clemency chances as a 'dirty joke', Kaur said it was being spread to dampen the spirit of Sikhs and all Indians who were relentlessly backing her efforts to get him released.

"I have talked to his lawyer there and have received a letter from Sarabjit which denied these rumours in toto," she said.

Kaur who was accompanied by her niece Poonam (Sarabjit's daughter) and her lawyer Sunanda Ratan also asked for legal help from the government, that would include renowned lawyer Ram Jethmalani, in her request to the President.

First Published: Apr 12, 2006 15:13 IST