I will urge Musharraf to pardon Sarabjit: Burney

April 28th, 2008 - 11:58 am ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Pervez Musharraf

Islamabad, April 28 (IANS) Ansar Burney, a former caretaker human rights minister who has taken up the cause of Sarabjit Singh, an Indian national sentenced to death for staging terrorist acts in Pakistan, is to meet President Pervez Musharraf this week to plead his case. There was a possibility the government would delay Singh’s execution for a month in view of the visit here in May of Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee, The News Monday quoted Burney as saying.

According to Burney, “some elements” were holding protests against him to thwart the process of prisoners’ exchange between Pakistan and India.

Sarabjit has been sentenced to death for carrying out bomb blasts in Lahore and Faisalabad that killed 14 people.

“Shaukat, a prosecution witness in the case, has retracted his statement (on the basis of which) a court sentenced Sarabjit to death. I have released a video in which Shaukat has stated that he was forced to give the statement against Sarabjit,” Burney maintained.

There were many other legal flaws in the probe into the blasts, he added.

Burney said he had requested Musharraf to commute Sarabjit’s death sentence to life imprisonment.

“I have sought a meeting with President Musharraf and Prime Minister Gillani so that I could inform them about the situation of human rights in Pakistan,” he said.

Burney was key to the release of Kashmir Singh, an Indian who had been behind bars in a Pakistani jail for 35 years and is now back home in the Indian Punjab.

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