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Jun 29, 2012 at 09:18am IST

Religious groups in Pakistan against Sarabjit's release: Ansar Burney

New Delhi: As celebrations continued over Surjeet Singh's return from Pakistan to India, efforts picked up to bring back another Indian prisoner from Pakistan, Sarabjit Singh. However, Pakistani human rights activist Ansar Burney admitted that the government there is under pressure from religious extremists who are against Sarabjit's release.

Sarabjit's family is running from pillar to post to expedite his release. On Thursday, the family met External Affairs Minister SM Krishna and officials at the Pakistan High Commission in the capital.

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They claim that they have been assured of full help from the Indian government.

Krishna asked Pakistan to "seriously ponder and consider" setting free Sarabjit Singh, who is in a Lahore jail on death row.

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"I am happy that Surjeet Singh is being released and I hope that Pakistan will also seriously ponder and consider and release Sarabjit Singh also," he told reporters on the sidelines of a function.

Noting that India has consistently urged the Pakistan government, on several occasions, to take a "sympathetic and humanitarian view" in the case of Sarabjit, Krishna, in a statement later, said, "I welcome this decision (on Surjeet) and further renew our request to the President of Pakistan to release Sarabjit who has been in custody for well over two decades and is serving a death sentence."

He also appealed to the Government of Pakistan to release all Indian nationals who have completed their prison terms and requested for the release of all other Indians who are serving jail sentences in Pakistani prisons.

(With additional information from PTI)