Mumbai: Pakistan's Law Minister, Farooq Naek has scheduled a meeting with Indian prisoner Sarabjit Singh. The minister who is scheduled to meet Sarabjit on Monday in Lahore's Kot Lakhpat jail, has proposed to review his case of clemency.
The Indian government had made a request for grant of clemency to the Indian who is on the death row, and is languishing in Pakistani jails on charges of spying.
The Pakistan government had not taken any positive action on the Indian government’s request for clemency to Sarabjit but as things stand scheduled, there seems some hope for him.
“Pakistan is under no pressure from Indian authorities on Sarabjit Singh's case but we will look into his case on a humanitarian basis,” promised Naek.
The Pakistan Law Minister has also appealed to the India government to look into the cases of Pakistani prisoners languishing in Indian jails.
Though Naek's comment doesn't outright guarantee Sarabjit's release, it has given hope to his family in Amritsar.
"We're very happy to hear that the minister will be meeting my father. We've been appealing for many years. We appeal to Pakistani president Asif Ali Zardari as well. He had told us that he would help. Now that he is the President of Pakistan, we are more hopeful,” said Sarabjit’s daughter, Poonam.
The 42-year-old man has been sentenced to death for his alleged involvement in four bomb blasts in Pakistan in 1990.
He was to be hanged on April 1, but was saved from gallows by former Pakistan president Musharraf who deferred his execution by 30 days.
On June 21, Pakistan’s prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani announced a proposal to commute the death sentences of thousands of prisoners into life imprisonment to mark the birth anniversary of slain PPP chairperson Benazir Bhutto.
It's still not clear if the move will benefit Sarabjit. But with Naek’s recent interest in the case and with Zardari as the final authority on the matter, the prisoner's family has reason to hope that Pakistan may give in to a change of heart.
(With inputs from Dawn News)