The Pakistan government on Wednesday deferred by 30 days the execution of Indian national Sarabjit Singh, who was set to be hanged on April 1 following his conviction for alleged involvement in bomb attacks in 1990.
President Pervez Musharraf deferred the execution of Sarabjit by 30 days after the Indian government made a formal appeal for clemency yesterday, sources in Pakistan's Foreign Office said.
"The matter will now be considered by the concerned authorities in the Pakistan government,' a source in the foreign office said.
Other sources said the decision to defer Sarabjit's hanging had been informally conveyed to the Indian High Commission.
While seeking clemency from Pakistan for Sarabjit, India had said that the impression that he is being executed in retaliation for the death of a Pakistani in Indian custody will "impinge on the positive atmosphere" between the two countries.
Sarabjit's sister Dalbir Kaur sent a written appeal for clemency directly to Musharraf and requested him for permission to visit Pakistan to meet her brother in jail.
Sarabjit was sentenced to death in 1991 for his alleged involvement in four bomb blasts in Lahore and Multan that killed 14 people. His family denies he is a spy as claimed by Pakistan and insists he accidentally strayed into Pakistani territory.
The mercy petition of Sarabjit, who Pakistan claims is Manjit Singh, was rejected by Musharraf on March 3. Sarabjit's mercy petition was sent to Musharraf along with that of Indian prisoner Kashmir Singh, who was pardoned and freed after spending 35 years on death row in Pakistani jails. Pakistan's Supreme Court too rejected Sarabjit's plea for clemency in March 2006.
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