Friday, May 2, 2008
Sarabjit’s execution delayed indefinitely
Lahore, May 2The Pakistan government has delayed the execution of Sarabjit Singh till further orders, a jail official said today.
Sarabjit Singh, whose family say he is the victim of mistaken identity, was to be hanged on April 1 after being convicted of involvement in 1990 blasts that killed four persons in Lahore.
But President Pervez Musharraf, who had earlier rejected a mercy petition, delayed his execution until April 30. It was further delayed again.
Speaking to AFP today, Malik Mubashir Ahmad Khan, superintendent of Lahore's Kot Lakhpat jail, read out an interior ministry order, which said: "The execution of Indian national, Sarabjit Singh is stayed till further order." The stay of execution, which jail authorities received today, came days after Sarabjit's wife, daughters and sister visited Lahore to met him in prison.
The Supreme Court had earlier rejected an appeal against Sarabjit's death penalty.
Pakistan maintains Sarabjit was an Indian spy, but he and his family say he is a farmer who accidentally strayed across the border into Pakistan while drunk. He has been in jail in Pakistan since 1990.
His family say he was confused with another man named Manjit Singh, whom Pakistan blames for a series of bombings in Lahore.
Earlier, Pakistan’s leading human rights activist Ansar Burney said hanging Sarabjit Singh would be tantamount to “murder of humanity” as he had been convicted without “any substantial evidence”.
Burney, a former minister for human rights, who has been at the forefront of a campaign to commute Sarabjit’s death sentence to life imprisonment, has said there were several legal loopholes in his conviction.
Hanging Sarabjit would be tantamount to “a murder of humanity” as he had been convicted without “any substantial evidence”, Burney told reporters.
“I cannot allow the government to hang Sarabjit Singh on the basis that he is a non-Muslim and non-Pakistani, and because of pressure from extremist fundamentalist groups,” he said.
Meanwhile, Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf had told Gandhian Nirmala Deshpande some days before she died that he favoured clemency for Sarabjit Singh, her aide claimed today. The telephonic conversation between Musharraf and Deshpande took place a fortnight ago when she called the President to plead for Sarabjit’s life. — Agencies
Monday, April 21, 2008
Burney files plea for clemency to Sarabjit
Islamabad, April 21
Making a last ditch effort to save Sarabjit Singh, former Pakistani human rights minister Ansar Burney today petitioned President Pervez Musharraf seeking clemency for the death row prisoner, saying his “biggest crime may have been his Indian nationality”.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Monday, March 17, 2008
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Sarabjit to be hanged on April 1
Islamabad, March 16
Indian national Sarabjit Singh, condemned to death for his alleged involvement in four bomb blasts in Pakistan in 1990, will be hanged in a prison in Lahore on April 1.
The death warrant for Sarabjit was received by the Kot Lakhpat jail authorities in Lahore where he has been held for the past 17 years and he will be executed on April 1, Urdu newspaper Daily Express reported today.
The mercy petition of Sarabjit, who Pakistan claims is Manjit Singh, was rejected by President Pervez Musharraf on March 3.
Sarabjit’s mercy petition was sent to Musharraf along with that of Indian prisoner Kashmir Singh, who was freed after spending 35 years on the death row in Pakistani jails.
There was no official confirmation of the development.
Sarabjit was sentenced to death for his alleged involvement in bomb blasts in Lahore and Multan that killed about 14 persons. His family denies he was a spy as claimed by Pakistan and insists he accidentally strayed into Pakistani territory. In his mercy petition sent to Musharraf, Sarabjit had sought his release on the grounds that he was innocent and wrongly implicated.
The petition was rejected by the President after “thorough consideration” as the allegations against him “were proved and he was awarded capital punishment by court”, official sources said.
Pakistan’s Supreme Court, too, had rejected Sarabjit’s plea for clemency in March, 2006.
Following the rejection of Sarabjit’s mercy petition by the President, the interior ministry had informed the government of Punjab province to take steps to carry out his death sentence. — PTI