Sarabjit Singh should be pardoned, says Gilani

May 11th, 2008 - 11:42 am ICT by admin  

Pervez Musharraf

Islamabad, May 11 (ANI): Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has reportedly advised President Pervez Musharraf to pardon Indian death row inmate Sarabjit Singh after reviewing his case.

“I have advised the president that he should stop (Sarabjit’s) execution and it should be reviewed by the ministries of Interior, Foreign Affairs, Law and Justice and Human Rights,” Gilani told Karan Thapar on the CNN-IBN programme “Devil’s Advocate”.

Asked if he personally believed that Sarabjit should be pardoned, Gilani, said: “That is the reason I have advised the President. Now, it’s up to the ministries to take a decision.”

Replying to a question on whether he had sought a review with a view to a pardon, he said: “They (the ministries) will think on those lines. They will consider whether the case is fit or not and will then take a decision.”

Sarabjit was originally set to be hanged on April 1, and his execution was initially deferred for 30 days by Musharraf. This was done so that Pakistan’s new government could review his case following an appeal for clemency from the Indian government.

Following Gilani’s intervention, Pakistani authorities put off the execution “until further orders”.

Sarabjit Singh, whose family says he is the victim of mistaken identity, and that he was wrongly convicted for 1990 blasts in various cities of Pakistan, which claimed 14 lives.

The stay of execution came days after Singh’s wife, daughters and sister visited Lahore to meet him in prison.

The Pakistan Supreme Court had earlier rejected an appeal against Singh’s death penalty.

Pakistan maintains Singh was an Indian spy, but he and his family say he is a farmer who accidentally strayed across the border into Pakistan while drunk. He has been in jail in Pakistan since 1990. (ANI)

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