Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: The Congress on Thursday launched a scathing attack against Pakistan following the death of jailed Indian prisoner Sarabjit Singh in a Lahore jail. Addressing mediapersons in the national capital, Union Minister Manish Tewari said the issue was of the killing of an Indian citizen in a Pakistani establishment, and the authorities in the neighbouring country needed to answer all questions.
Hitting out at Pakistan, Tewari said that the government of the country had failed, and warned that India would not just take up the issue with the neighbour, but would raise it at all appropriate international forums.
The UPA minister said that a strong condemnation needs to be registered effectively as the basic human rights of an Indian citizen had been violated in the case, assuring that the government and the Congress party stands firm with the family of Sarabjit Singh.
Recalling the efforts taken by India with regard to the issue of Sarabjit Singh, Tewari said that the Indian government had been in talks with Pakistan at all levels on a regular basis, urging them to take a humanitarian view on the issue.
“In 2005, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had talked to the Prime Minister of Pakistan on the issue of Sarabjit Singh, and since then, every year, the Indian authorities have raised the issue with the neighbout,” said the Congress leader.
Terming the killing of Sarabjit Singh as “extremely sad”, the minister appealed to all the parties to not play any politics on the issue. He said that all the parties must remain united at the moment and register a strong protest against the development in unison.
He, however, hit out at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), accusing it of wanting to politicising the issue even in a matter of deep regret and grief. He added that the BJP had not even ensured counsellor access to Sarabjit during his tenure.
Tewari further recalled the norms of the Geneva convention, which talks about the treatment that should be given to a prisoner of war, and asked Pakistan to guarantee the safety and security of other Indian citizens in their jails.