Pranab appeals to Pakistan to show mercy to Sarabjit

April 18th, 2008 - 8:20 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, April 18 (IANS) External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee Friday appealed to Pakistan to “show clemency” to Sarabjit Singh, an Indian imprisoned in Pakistan for over 17 years and now awaiting execution of his death sentence in a Lahore jail. Pakistani authorities have said Sarabjit will be hanged May 1 for his role in a series of bomb blasts in Lahore and other cities of Pakistan in 1990.

In a statement Mukherjee said, “I would appeal to the authorities in Pakistan to show clemency to Sarabjit Singh, an Indian prisoner who has been in Pakistani jail since 1990 and who has been under sentence of death for the last 17 years.”

The external affairs minister said, “Whatever the legal position may be, on humanitarian grounds alone I would hope that mercy could be shown to this unfortunate human being.”

Mukherjee’s statement comes in the wake of media reports that appeals for mercy made by family members of Singh to the Pakistani authorities have been rejected.

The Indian foreign minister is scheduled to meet his Pakistani counterpart, Makhdoom Shah Qureshi, in Islamabad May 21. If the Pakistani authorities decide to ignore Mukherjee’s appeal, it could cast a shadow on the forthcoming talks, which would also be the first meeting between the two leaders.

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