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Sarabjit's clemency plea under consideration: Pakistan

Source: PTI
May 21, 2008 22:09 IST
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Pakistan on Wednesday said the clemency petition of Sarabjit Singh, who is facing gallows for his alleged involvement in four bomb attacks in Punjab province, is under consideration as India sought pardon for him on "humanitarian grounds".

External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee took up the matter in the context of expeditious release and humane treatment of prisoners in each other's country during his talks with Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, sources said.

Mukherjee, who had earlier made an appeal for clemency for Sarabjit on "humanitarian grounds", reiterated the plea at his meeting with Qureshi, they said.

Responding to Mukherjee's appeal, Qureshi said the matter was under consideration of the Pakistan government. Sarabjit, who is alleged to be behind the 1990 bomb blasts in Lahore, was to be hanged on April 1, but it was put off by a month after India made an appeal.

The Pakistan government later deferred his execution indefinitely following the intervention by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.

"Whatever the legal position may be, on humanitarian grounds alone I would hope that mercy could be shown to this unfortunate human being. I would appeal to the authorities in Pakistan to show clemency to Sarabjit Singh,'' Mukherjee had said in his appeal earlier.

Sarabjit and his family have been maintaining that his was a case of mistaken identity. Sarabjit's case has been taken up by noted Pakistani human rights activist Ansar Burney, who even visited the prisoner's family in Punjab last month to ascertain whether his case really was that of mistaken identity.

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