Sarabjit`s sister demands a time frame for his release

Sister of Sarabjit Singh, who is on death row in a Pakistani jail for the past 21 years, on Wednesday asked the Centre to set a time frame for the release of her brother.

Last Updated: May 18, 2011, 23:04 PM IST

New Delhi: Sister of Sarabjit Singh, who is
on death row in a Pakistani jail for the past 21 years, on Wednesday
asked the Centre to set a time frame for the release of her
brother.

"They should promise us a time under which it will ensure
the release of Sarabjit... The Prime Minister must call up his
Pakistani counterpart and seek his release," said Dalbir Kaur,
who along with other well wishers is sitting on an indefinite
hunger strike at Jantar Mantar here demanding freedom for the
death row prisoner.
Kaur said she is planning to visit her brother in
Pakistan, but wants government`s assurance so that she could
go to him with "some good news".

Citing the case of CIA contractor Raymond Davis, who was
released under US pressure despite gunning down two persons in
Lahore, Kaur questioned why India does not step up diplomatic
pressure on Pakistan to seek Sarabjit`s release.

"An American in broad day light kills two people in
Pakistan but was released in weeks due to diplomatic pressure.
My brother is innocent and he is in Pakistan jail for 21
years. Why don`t we put similar pressure on Islamabad. Are we
weak," she told agency on the second day of the protest.

Sarabjit`s sister said she has sent a memorandum in this
regard to the Prime Minister, Home Ministry, MEA and Law
Ministry. The family also tried to contact Sonia Gandhi.

Extending support to the relatives of Sarabjit, noted
filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt said he is planning to meet the family
in a couple of days, but maintained that demand of a fixed
time frame is not feasible.
"While, I understand the emotions of Sarabjit`s family,
I feel this posture with the government will not work as the
matter is between two countries. India must put pressure on
Pakistan but Sarabjit`s release is in their discretion," he
said over phone.

Members of the Sachkhand Nanak Dham, a Sikh spiritual
organisation, and others also took out candlelight vigil,
which was led by JD-U MP Jai Narayan Prasad Nishad who said he
will raise this issue in the Lok Sabha.

Recently, Supreme Court had asked the Centre to spell out
its stand on the issue.

Arrested on August 28, 1990, by the Pakistan police, on
charges of spying and carrying out bomb attacks Sarabjit was
awarded death after his conviction by a Lahore anti-terrorism
court in October 1991. The death sentence was upheld by the
Lahore High Court and later by the Supreme Court of Pakistan
in 2009.

However, India claims it was a case of mistaken identity.

PTI