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Suspected Indian spy's family hopes he will be pardoned

Onkar Singh in New Delhi | August 24, 2005 01:49 IST

Family members of Sarabjit Singh, who is awaiting execution in Pakistan's Kotlakhpat Rai jail for allegedly spying for Research and Analysis Wing, is hopeful that Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf would grant pardon to him and repatriate him back to India.

Five relatives of Sarabjit Singh, a native village of Bhikiwind in Tarn Taran sub-division of Amritsar district, have threatened to commit suicide in case his death sentence is carried out.

This includes his sister Dalbir Kaur who is spearheading the movement to save her brother, and his two daughters, wife and brother-in-law. 

The story about the man in Pakistani jail was first broken by The Tribune newspaper two years ago when it carried a series of stories on the man and published a detailed account of how the man crossed into Pakistan through Khemkaran sector in 1990.

"We broke the story about him when Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilisers, took up the matter with Vinod Khanna, the then minister of state for external affairs. It seems that the response from Pakistan was not positive," said Virendra Walia, a senior journalist working with The Tribune.

Zee TV, which got wind of the story last week managed to highlight the case on its network and brought Dalbir Kaur, sister of Sarabjit Singh to meet senior political leaders and top government functionaries.

Aaj Tak then took over the lead and managed to get an assurance from Pakistan Foreign Minister Kasuri that the Pakistani authorities were reviewing his case.

"He has had a fair trail and now all the legal avenues available to Sarabjit Singh have been consumed. Now only President Pervez Musharraf can entertain a clemency appeal," Kasuri said.

In Delhi the spokesperson of external affairs ministry refused to say anything on the matter.

A delegation of four members of Parliament led by Navjot Singh Sidhu and Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa of the Akali dal called on External Affairs Minister Natwar Singh. "He told us that he would take up the matter through diplomatic channels," Dhindsa told rediff.com.


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