New Delhi: Expressing
concern over death row prisoner Sarabjit Singh's deteriorating
condition, India has asked Pakistan to release him on
"humanitarian and sympathetic grounds" or to send him to a third
country for "proper treatment".
India said "this is not the time for invoking legal and
bureaucratic reasons for not taking the right steps to save a
"We are concerned at the condition of Sarabjit Singh indicated by
reports made available by doctors treating him in Jinnah
Hospital," said a statement issued here by the external affairs
Sarabjit, 49, had suffered critical head injuries after unprovoked
and sudden assault by four to five prisoners April 26 in the Kot
Singh is undergoing treatment in Jinnah hospital in Lahore. He has
been on ventilator life support since. Doctors have reportedly
indicated that he was "clinically dead."
In this regard, Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan Sharat
Sabharwal met Pakistan Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani, the
"Our high commissioner has met the Pakistan foreign secretary and
urged the government of Pakistan to immediately release Sarabjit
Singh on humanitarian and sympathetic grounds so that he can
benefit from the best available treatment in India," it said.
"Alternatively we have also proposed that Sarabjit Singh should be
sent to a third country for proper medical treatment," the
"This is not the time for invoking legal and bureaucratic reasons
for not taking the right steps to save a human life.
"We believe that every endeavour should be made to save his life,"
the statement said.
Sarabjit has been on death row in Pakistan since 1990 after being
convicted by Pakistani courts for bomb blasts in Lahore and Multan,
which left 14 people dead.
Sarabjit's family claims he is innocent, and was arrested when he
crossed over to Pakistan in an inebriated state.
Police in Pakistan, however, claimed that Sarabjit Singh, known as
Manjit Singh, was involved in terrorist strikes.
His family, including his two daughters and wife, returned to
They held both the Indian and Pakistan governments responsible for
Singh's worsening condition and said they will pursue the case
with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress President Sonia
Gandhi and others.
The distraught family said Manmohan Singh should quit for having
failed to save Sarabjit.