New Delhi: Government on Friday said it has been consistently asking Pakistan to take a sympathetic and humanitarian view of Sarabjit Singh, an Indian prisoner on death row in that country since 1991 after being convicted by an anti-terrorist court in Lahore.
Making the point in reply to a question in Rajya Sabha
raised by LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan, Minister of State for
External Affairs E Ahamed said two mercy petitions filed by
Sarabjit and his lawyers are pending before the President of
"The decision of the President of Pakistan on both these
petitions is still pending," the Minister said in a written
"According to available reports, Sarabjit Singh is in
Pakistani jail since August 1990. The Anti-Terrorist Court,
Lahore awarded him capital punishment in 1991, and the Supreme
Court of Pakistan upheld the sentence in 2005," Ahamed told
A mercy petition to the President of Pakistan was filed
by Sarabjit Singh in 2008 but it was dismissed following which
a fresh application was made in February 2010, Ahamed said.
"According to Sarabjit Singh and his lawyer, in a case of
mistaken identity, he was reportedly convicted for the crimes
committed by one Manjit Singh," Ahamed said.
On assurances given by Pakistan in this regard, the
Minister said, "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."
Sarabjit was convicted by an anti-terrorist court for his
involvement in bomb blasts in Lahore.