VIDEO: Send Sarabjit to India for treatment, says wife
Sarabjit Singh, currently in coma in a hospital in Lahore following a brutal assault, should be sent to India for better treatment, his wife on Sunday said in an emotional appeal to Pakistani authorities.
"We have learnt that Sarabjit is not getting good treatment in (Jinnah) hospital. It will be better if my husband is allowed to go back for treatment," Sukhpreet Kaur said while talking to reporters after crossing over to Pakistan at the Wagah land border crossing.
Sarabjit, 49, was admitted to Jinnah Hospital on Friday after he was attacked by at least six other prisoners within his barrack at Kot Lakhpat Jail.
Sukhpreet arrived in Pakistan on Sunday afternoon along with her daughters, Swapandeep and Poonam and Sarabjit's sister Dalbir Kaur.
They were granted visas by the Pakistan High Commission in Delhi yesterday to visit Sarabjit.
Sarabjit's counsel, Awais Shiekh, and members of civil society groups received them at Wagah.
Sukhpreet said saving Sarbajit's life was the most important issue for her family.
She said the Pakistan government should take action against those who attacked her husband and give them exemplary punishment as the incident had defamed the country.
Dalbir Kaur, who has travelled to Pakistan in the past to lobby political leaders for the release of Sarabjit, said she and other members of her family were visiting the country in sad circumstances.
"I've come to visit my brother, who is seriously injured and not speaking. I've been told he is in a coma," she said.
She said she had come with the "love and prayers of crores of Indians" and brought "prashad" from the Golden Temple that she would give to her brother.
Fighting back tears, she said, "I kept telling myself: How can you fall into a coma, Sarabjit? You have a family and you have to come back to your country."
Dalbir Kaur thanked the people of Pakistan for their support.
She said Pakistani authorities had granted permission for one member of the family to remain in the hospital and she intended to stay beside Sarabjit.
Poonam said she had met her father only once in prison.
"I was happy to see my father when I met him for the first time. But today I am sad to see him in a hospital in this condition and I pray to God for the health of my father," she said.
Sarabjit's kin will remain in Pakistan for 15 days.
They will also visit Guru Nanak's birthplace of Nankana Sahib to offer special prayers for the recovery of Sarabjit.
Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai has asked Indian High Commission in Islamabad to make appropriate arrangements for their stay in Lahore.
A government official told PTI that a room had been arranged for Sarabjit's family at Jinnah Hospital.
Besides, arrangements for their accommodation have been made at Gurdwara Dera Sahib near Lahore Fort, he said.
Sources said, Sarabjit was hit on the head with bricks and his face and torso cut with weapons fashioned from spoons and pieces of ghee tins.
Sarabjit was convicted by a Pakistani court for alleged involvement in a string of bombings in Punjab that killed 14 people in 1990.
Sarabjit's family says he is the victim of mistaken identity and had inadvertently strayed across the border in an inebriated state.