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Ask India to spare Parliament attacker for Sarabjit: Militants tell Pak

By Roshan Mughal in Muzzafarabad
Last updated on: August 29, 2005 23:53 IST
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An alliance of Muslim militant groups on Sunday urged Pakistan's government to ask India to spare the life of a man convicted in a 2001 attack on India's Parliament in exchange for clemency for an Indian sentenced to death in Pakistan.

India has asked Pakistan to spare the life of Sarabjeet Singh, an Indian whose death sentence on charges of spying and involvement in a string of bombings in Pakistan was recently upheld by the Pakistani Supreme Court.

Before accepting the Indian demand, Pakistan should ask India to spare the life of Mohammed Afzal, the United Jihad Council said.

Earlier this month, the Indian Supreme Court upheld Afzal's death sentence for a 2001 attack on the Indian Parliament that left 14 people dead.

The court also upheld the acquittals of two other people and reduced the sentence of another person.

The council, a grouping of about a dozen militant organisations fighting Indian security forces in the divided Kashmir region, said the Indian Supreme Court's decision on Afzal was "based on suspicion and with practically no proof."

Afzal's supporters insist he was not connected to the attack. Singh's supporters say he is an innocent farmer who accidentally strayed across the border into Pakistan.

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Roshan Mughal in Muzzafarabad
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