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Afzal Guru's execution to delay Sarabjit Singh's release?

By Tahir Ali
February 11, 2013 11:12 IST
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After the hanging of 2001 Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, the call for execution of Indian prisoner Sarabjit Singh has grown louder in Pakistan. Tahir Ali reports 

The execution of 2001 Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru has made it difficult for Indian prisoner Sarabjit Singh, currently imprisoned in a Pakistan jail, to get freedom, as public opinion is fast building against him.  People in Pakistan, especially the extremist circles, are calling to avenge Guru’s execution by hanging Singh. 

Singh has been lodged in Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore since 1991. Pakistani authorities allege he is ‘Manjit Singh’. He was convicted for his alleged involvement in the 1990 serial bomb blasts in Lahore and Faisalabad, which killed 14 people.  

On the hanging of Guru, Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik declined to comment and said that it was a decision taken by the Indian judiciary. Commenting on the Sarabjit Singh case he said, “The fate of Indian national would be decided in the next few days”.

Nazar Islam, an Islamabad-based journalist, said Guru’s execution will impact the release of Singh. “At least, it can delay the process for now, as the government will never take such a decision at a time when the public is against his release.” 

Ahmed Alam, a cleric from Rawalpindi, said, “We should give a befitting answer to India by hanging Sarabjit Singh who has confessed about his involvement in terrorist activities in Pakistan. If Pakistan releases him the people will come out on to the streets.”

A picture of Singh and Guru posted on a Facebook page -- ‘Social Media Newspaper’ -- is captioned ‘Hindustan nay Afzal Guru ko phansi day di, Sarabjit Singh ka kia kia jaye?’ (India has hanged Afzal Guru, what should be done about Sarabjit Singh.)

Hundreds have liked and shared the post and most of the comments are in favour to hang the Indian prisoner.   

Zahoor Ahmed writes, “Afzal Guru was fighting for a cause and met shahadat (martyrdom) but Sarabjit was a terrorist sent by India for terrorist activities in Pakistan. He was caught and proven guilty. Releasing Kashmir Singh was a mistake already committed by Pakistani authorities and it will be our weakness to not (hang) Sarabjit.”



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Tahir Ali in Islamabad