Pakistan Law Minister Farooq Naek on Monday said he would examine Indian death row prisoner Sarabjit Singh's case, but at the same time requested New Delhi to consider repatriating Pakistani prisoners to their country on 'humanitarian' grounds.
Coverage: The Sarabjit Case
Naek who met Sarabjit -- now in jail for 17 years -- at the Kot Lakhpat prison in Lahore, said he had sought Sarabjit's file from the jail superintendent so that he could study the Indian national's case.
The Supreme Court had dismissed Sarabjit's mercy petition.
"After the Supreme Court's decision, only the President has the powers under article 45 of the constitution to pardon or remit his sentence. No one else can do this," Naek told media persons outside the prison.
"In this connection, as reciprocity, I request Indian authorities to consider the cases of Pakistani prisoners on humanitarian basis and repatriate them to Pakistan," he said.
Naek said Sarabjit was 'hale and hearty and getting all the facilities which the other prisoners in this prison are entitled to'.
He said India has provided a list of over 100 Pakistani prisoners lodged in its jails.
"I will take up the issue and ask Indian authorities to send them back to Pakistan. The Pakistan People's Party government will take up their cases so that they can return to their near and dear ones," he added.
Asked if Sarabjit would be released if India freed the Pakistani prisoners, Naek replied: "I don't have these powers. I can only study (Sarabjit's) case and submit a recommendation and a report on humanitarian grounds. The final decision will be made by the Prime Minister and the President."
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