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Burney will carry letters of Sarabjit's kin

Source: PTI
April 07, 2008 20:13 IST
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Having taken up the cause of saving Indian national Sarabjit Singh from gallows, former Pakistan Minister Ansar Burney will carry home letters from his family and some CDs to ascertain whether or not he was really involved in terrorist acts in that country.

Burney, who is in India to meet Home Minister Shivraj Patil and Indian Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon besides other officials, made it clear to PTI today that he will make all efforts to save Sarabjit if he is innocent.

"I have some letters of Sabarjit's wife and a CD of one of the witness. I will see the CD first and then talk to the witness," said Burney, who met the Indian prisoner's family in Punjab last week.

The Pakistani human rights campaigner, who was instrumental in the release of another Indian national Kashmir Singh from a Pakistani jail after 35 years recently, said he would "fight for anyone, who is not a terrorist".

He, however, emphasised that he has "no sympathy" for terrorists.

Sarabjit, convicted in connection with bomb blasts in Lahore, has been sentenced to death. He was to be hanged on April 1, but it was postponed by a month after India made an appeal for clemency on "humanitarian grounds".

"I favour human dignity and I will fight for human rights, be it on any side of the border," said Burney, who faced death threats back home after ensuring release of Kashmir Singh who was accused of 'spying'.

Noting that many Indians and Pakistanis are jailed in both the countries, Burney said he was in Delhi to raise the issue of people from his country imprisoned here.

"I am here to discuss human rights in the region. With region, I mean both India and Pakistan and our neighbouring countries," said the member of the UN Human Rights Council Advisory Committee.

"There are some cases that need to be cleared. Some need to be opened," he said.

Burney said a number of Pakistani people had met him back home and requested him to take up the issue of their relatives languishing in Indian jails with the authorities here.

"The same is the case of Indians here who have their loved ones, who for no reason are prisoners there," he said.

On his meeting with Kashmir Singh, he said it took a "long time" for his release but the former Punjab policemen is "finally relieved".

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