|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
Sarabjit mercy plea not with Musharraf: Pak
April 24, 2008 11:37 IST
Last Updated: April 24, 2008 14:53 IST
As Sarabjit Singh's family anxiously awaited permission to meet him in Lahore's [Images] Kot Lakhpat jail, Pakistan President's office on Thursday said that no mercy petition for the condemned Indian national is currently pending with it.
More: The Sarabjit Singh Saga
President Pervez Musharraf's [Images] spokesman Major General (retired) Rashid Qureshi said a mercy petition received by the presidency some time ago from Sarabjit's family had been forwarded to the interior ministry.
"There is nothing (related to Sarabjit Singh's case that is currently pending) with the presidency," Qureshi told PTI. The spokesman made it clear that he was speaking on behalf of the presidency and not the government.
The interior ministry will have to consider the petition from Sarabjit's family and pass on its recommendations to the Prime Minister's secretariat.
Former Pakistani human rights minister Ansar Burney had said on Monday that he had submitted a fresh mercy petition on behalf of Sarabjit to Musharraf, asking for his death sentence to be converted to life imprisonment as the case against him was 'weak'.
However, Qureshi made it clear that no fresh petitions had been received by the President's office.
The execution of Sarabjit -- sentenced to death for alleged involvement in four bomb attacks in Punjab province in 1990 that killed 14 people -- was deferred for 30 days by Musharraf last month so that Pakistan's new government could review his case following an appeal for clemency from the Indian government.
Sarabjit was originally set to be hanged on April 1.
Meanwhile, Sarabjit's wife Sukhpreet Kaur and his daughters Swapandeep and Poonam, who arrived in Lahore on Wednesday along with his sister Dalbir Kaur and her husband Baldev Singh, have been given permission to meet him in the Kot Lakhpat jail.
Sarabjit's family insists that he is innocent and was wrongly convicted for the bomb attacks.
The Indian national, who Pakistan claims is Manjit Singh, was sentenced to death in 1991. His mercy petition was rejected by Musharraf on March 3. Pakistan's Supreme Court too rejected Sarabjit's plea for clemency in March 2006.
His family denies he is a spy as claimed by Pakistan and insists he accidentally strayed into Pakistani territory while inebriated.