New Delhi, Aug 9 (IBNS) The Indian government on Thursday said it has consistently urged the Government of Pakistan, on several occasions, to take a sympathetic and humanitarian view in the case of death row prisoner Sarabjit Singh languishing in a Pakistani prison.
"Government has consistently urged the Government of Pakistan, on several occasions, to take a sympathetic and humanitarian view in the case of Shri Sarabjit Singh. Prime Minister was assured by President Musharraf during their meeting in New York in 2005, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly that he would look at the question of clemency to Sarabjit Singh in a humanitarian way, said Minister of State for External Affairs E. Ahamed in written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha on Thursday.
"On June 27, 2012, External Affairs Minister (EAM) renewed the request to the President of Pakistan to release Sarabjit Singh. The issue was also taken up with Pakistan during the Foreign Secretary level talks held on July 4-5, 2012 in New Delhi. EAM again raised the issue with the Foreign Minister of Pakistan in a meeting on the sidelines of a Conference on Afghanistan, in Tokyo, on July 8, 2012," he said.
"On June 26, 2012, Pakistani media reports had suggested that Shri Sarabjit Singh, an Indian national, on death row in Pakistan, was to be released.
"However, later on the same day, Pakistani government authorities clarified that it was another Indian prisoner, Shri Surjeet Singh, and not Shri Sarabjit Singh, who was to be released. Subsequently, Shri Surjeet Singh was released from Kot Lakhpat jail in Lahore and repatriated to India on June 28, 2012," the minister said.
Sarabjit Singh has been languishing in a Pakistani jail for over 20 years after a Pakistani anti-terrorist court awarded him the death sentence in 1991.
He had been convicted of involvement in a string of bombings in Punjab in 1990 that killed 14 people.