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Sarabjit will be released soon, says his lawyer

Lahore, Sep 7 (ANI): Awais Sheikh, the lawyer representing Sarabjit Singh, an Indian prisoner on death row in Pakistan, has said that as per his information, the Pakistan Government has decided to release him.

Sheikh further said he hopes that Sarabjit Singh would be released before the visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Pakistan.

“The Government of Pakistan has, as per my information, decided to release Sarabjit Singh because of many reasons. I have filed a fresh mercy petition immediately after the release of Khalid Chishti, and I have given reasons to the honourable President for pardoning him, commuting his death sentence to life. So, I hope before the visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Sarabjit Singh will be released. I am positive,” said Sheikh.

Sheikh said that the establishments and bureaucracy of both India and Pakistan should take note that people of both countries want to live in peace.

“People of both countries increasingly desire to live in peace and harmony. They want to live like good neighbours. They are fed up with these confrontational policies,” said Sheikh.

Sheikh had visited India last month and claimed that Sarabjit Singh had mentioned in a letter that he was being mentally tortured and was apprehensive regarding his health, especially because of the food served to him in prison.

Dalbir Kaur, the sister of Sarabjit, had received his letter through Sheikh, where he had complained of pain in his left leg due to the adulterated food.

According to media reports, Kaur has appealed to the Manmohan Singh, to ask the Indian High Commission officials to visit the prison and check his health status.

In another letter, written to Congress president, Sonia Gandhi, Sarabjit Singh had requested her to facilitate issuance of visas to his family members, so that they could visit him at the jail in Pakistan.

Hours after reports emerged that Pakistan was to free Sarabjit Singh, the presidential spokesman clarified last night that the authorities had taken steps for the release of another Indian prisoner named Surjeet Singh.

It was earlier reported that Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari has converted Sarabjit Singh’s death sentence to life imprisonment and directed authorities to release him if he had completed his prison term.

Sarabjit, 49, who has spent 21 years on death row, is currently being held at Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat Jail.

Sarabjit, who was condemned to death for his involvement in a string of bombings in Punjab in 1990, had earlier last month filed a fresh clemency appeal to President Zardari. (ANI)