New Delhi: On a day when Indian prisoner Sarabjit Singh, victim of a brutal assault in a Pakistani jail, was cremated with full state honours and a Pakistani prisoner was attacked in an Indian jail, the question that arises is whether vengeance or tit-for-tat violence is the answer to the crisis.
Sarabjit Singh was brutally assaulted by his prison inmates in Lahore's Kot Lakhpat jail in April. He succumbed to his injuries in the wee hours on Thursday. His body was brought back on Thursday evening and cremated in his native village Bhikiwind in Punjab on Friday.
Even as India tightened security across Indian jails fearing retaliatory attacks, a Pakistani prisoner, Sanaullah Haq, was attacked by his Indian inmate in a Jammu jail over a tiff. Sanaullah is said to be stable and is undergoing treatment at a Chandigarh hospital.
Despite Pakistan's request that Sanaullah be sent back on humanitarian grounds to receive further treatment, India has said it will not be so for now. Sanaullah will receive treatment in Chandigarh's multi-speciality Post Graduate Institute of Medical Science and Research.
Sarabjit's sister Dalbir Kaur has been insistent that India cut off its ties with Pakistan. "India must give a suitable response and snap all entertainment, sporting and trade ties. There should be no dialogue with Pakistan," she said.
However, the question is - Will this attitude help? According to the MEA, there are currently 254 Indians languishing in Pakistani jails. India too arrests Pakistani citizens, who enter Indian territory illegally or mistakenly, regularly. Many of these are fishermen, who enter the territorial waters of the other country.
Both India and Pakistan need to give much thought to the future of these prisoners before taking any action.