Burney says he will take Sarabjit’s case to UN

April 3rd, 2008 - 9:37 pm ICT by admin  

Muktsar (Punjab), April 3 (IANS) Pakistan’s human rights activist Ansar Burney Thursday said he would take Sarabjit Singh’s case to the UN if the Pakistan government did not grant him clemency on the basis of evidence collected during his visit to India. “I request the Punjab government to authenticate the FIR where Sarabjit has been shown as missing from Bhikhiwind in 1990,” said Burney at a school function at Badal village in this Punjab district.

“As a lawyer, I will take it (FIR) as a substantial evidence. It will make a very strong case for the release of Sarabjit,” he said. Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal was also present.

Sarabjit Singh of Bhikhiwind town near Amritsar has been sentenced to death in Pakistan for his alleged involvement in blasts there in 1990. He was to be hanged March 31 but his execution was postponed till April 30 following intervention by the Indian government.

Sarabjit’s family members during Burney’s visit gave him copies of the FIR and the complaint they had filed in September 1990 about Sarabjit’s disappearance from Bhikhiwind town, 8 km from the India-Pakistan border, near Amritsar city.

“I want to urge judges in both countries not to award death sentence to each other’s prisoners, if there is any doubt in particular cases. This will reduce the suffering of their families,” Burney said.

Burney arrived in Badal village, the village from where the chief minister hails, Thursday to attend a function at the Dashmesh public school.

The visit of the former Pakistani minister has renewed hopes of not only the family of Sarabjit but also prisoners and their families in both countries.

Even families of prisoners of war are hoping that Burney would be able to put up their cases before the Pakistani government.

Burney last month worked out the release of Indian Kashmir Singh from Pakistani prisons after 35 years of imprisonment.

Sarabjit Singh, who is on a death row in Pakistan on charges of bomb blasts and terrorism in that country, was to be hanged March 31 but his hanging was postponed till April 30 by Pakistan authorities following the intervention of the Indian government.

His family claims that Sarabjit had crossed over into Pakistan in 1990 inadvertently in an inebriated state and was arrested there. The Pakistani authorities identified him as Manjit Singh, who had caused bomb blasts in Lahore and Multan in 1990 which killed 14 people.

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