New Delhi: The government on Friday described as "completely wrong" that Surjeet Singh, the Indian prisoner who has just returned from Pakistan, had been sent by intelligence agencies to that country as a spy.
Union Home Secretary Raj Kumar Singh said it was completely wrong to say that Surjeet Singh was sent by Indian intelligence agencies for espionage in Pakistan.
"We do not accept this. It is completely wrong. We deny it. We do not do this kind of thing (spying on other countries). Neither we do spying, nor we send spies," he said at a press conference.
The Union Home Secretary said it was completely wrong to say that Surjeet Singh was sent for espionage in Pakistan.
He was replying to a question on Surjeet's claim that he was sent to Pakistan by an Indian intelligence agency for espionage.
"If someone is claiming (that he was a spy), he is doing so just to get importance or for some other reasons. We deny it," he said.
Asked about the ill treatment meted out to Indian prisoners in Pakistan, the Home Secretary said "we have taken note of that".
Welcoming Surjeet's release, Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said he was hopeful that Pakistan government would adopt a positive attitude towards the release of Sarabjit Singh as well and take a decision soon.
Tewari said there are 54 prisoners of war from India in jails of Pakistan since the Bangladesh war, a matter which the government of India has taken up with Pakistan during a number of bilateral talks.
"Keeping in mind, the sensitivity of the issue, I hope, the government of Pakistan will take some immediate step," he said.
JD(U) President Sharad Yadav blamed the "media hype" for obstructions in the release of Sarabjit. Quoting Surjeet, Yadav said that the former, who had spent quite a number of years in Pakistani jail said that everytime there is a talk of Sarabjeet's release, the media in both countries hype the issue and it gets stuck.
He said the country's media should understand the sensitivity of the matter and not hype it unnecessarily. He said he disapproves such hype by media.