Chandigarh: The Punjab Assembly on Friday welcomed the release of Surjeet Singh, who returned home on Thursday after spending 31 years in a Pakistan jail, and urged the Centre to take steps to secure the release of another resident of the state Sarabjit Singh languishing in Lahore jail for the last 20 years.
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal moved the resolution in the Assembly in Chandigarh on Friday welcoming the release of Surjeet Singh, a resident of Phiddey village in Muktsar district.
The 69-year-old Singh was released from Kot Lakhpat Jail at Lahore on Thursday. He returned to India through the Indo-Pak border at Attari near Amritsar.
The Punjab Assembly also urged the Centre to take steps to secure the release of Sarabjit Singh.
The resolution seconded by Leader of the Opposition Sunil Jakhar of the Congress welcomed the steps taken to improve the Indo-Pak relations which would benefit the people of the state.
Meanwhile, Congress member Rana Gurmeet Singh Sodhi said that the financial condition of Surjeet Singh is bad and he should be helped by the state government.
Badal said that he would talk to the Deputy Commissioner for getting Surjeet's case for financial assistance examined. "We will do whatever can be done as per law", the Chief Minister added.
Surjeet Singh served a life term following his arrest on charges of spying in the 1980s in Pakistan. He was given the death sentence under the Pakistan Army Act in 1985. The death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment in 1989 by the then President Ghulam Ishaq Khan.
The Assembly in its resolution also urged the External Affairs Minister and the Prime Minister to take up with Pakistan the issue of release of Sarabjit Singh.
The Centre should take up the issue with Pakistan so that Sarabjit Singh also returns home at the earliest, the resolution added.
Sarabjit was on a death row for the last 20 years following his conviction for alleged involvement in a series of bombings in Pakistan in 1990.