Pak journalist supports Sarabjit's release



New Delhi: The demand for release of Indian prisoner in Pakistan, Sarabjit Singh, has found support across the border with a Member of Pakistan's Press Council backing the plea.

Press Council of India chairman Markandey Katju has in the recent past made several appeals to Pakistan government seeking the release of Singh, who has languished in various jails for over two decades after being accused of having caused the Lahore bomb blast of 1990.

While the authorities have not responded to Katju's appeals yet, Syed Faseih Iqbal, an eminent Pakistani journalist and a member of the country's Press Council, has seconded the demand in a letter to the PCI chairman.

"I am pleased to observe that all peace loving people in Pakistan have appreciated your appeal and expressed their support for it," Iqbal said in his letter.

"We share a common opinion that pardon to Sarabjit Singh, if granted, may prove to be a turning point culminating in a full-fledged peace process between our two countries," he added.

In his letter, Iqbal also acknowledged the role that Katju and others had played in the release of 82-year-old Pakistani microbiologist Mohammed Khalil Chishty, who was lodged in an Ajmer jail.

"We in Pakistan acknowledge the positive role you and your colleagues played in paving way for the release of Dr Khalil Chishty, who is now back with his family thanks to a wave of positive confidence building measures, including your sincere efforts in this regard," Iqbal said.

Iqbal added that Katju's earlier appeal to Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari on Sarabjit Singh's behalf had broken some ice.

In his letter, Iqbal said that the issue of cross-border prisoners must not be used for political purpose, rather it should be considered purely on humanitarian grounds.

PTI