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Sarabjit to submit fresh mercy petition

By M Zulqarnain
November 11, 2012 14:59 IST
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Indian prisoner Sarabjit Singh, who is on a death row for alleged involvement in a string of bombings in Pakistani cities in 1990, has signed a fresh mercy petition to be sent to President Asif Ali Zardari.

Sarabjit's lawyer Awais Sheikh met him at Kot Lakhpat jail on Saturday and got him to sign the fresh mercy petition.

In the letter addressed to the President, Sarabjit again sought mercy while referring to a recent meeting between former Indian External Affairs Minister S M Krishna and Zardari.

Sarbajit said: "After the release of (Pakistani prisoner) Pervez Khalil Chisti by the Indian government on humanitarian grounds, the people of India, especially my family, have pinned hopes on my release on the same ground."

"I have been languishing in jail for the last 22 years. I beg you to revoke the capital punishment and let me spend the rest of my life with my family," Sarabjit said.

Such an act of forgiveness is liked in Islam and God would reward the President for such an act, he said.

Sheikh said he had conveyed to Sarbajit messages from his family and told him in detail of his recent visit to India.

"Some eatables and other goods for daily use, including Pakistan Rs 8,000 were delivered to him," he said.

The lawyer said he got another letter addressed to the people and the government of India signed by Sarabjit.

This letter thanks the people for showing concern at his health and for urging the Pakistan government to provide him proper treatment.

"I am feeling better now," Sarabjit was quoted as saying by his counsel. Sarabjit was convicted for alleged involvement in a string of bombings in 1990 that killed 14 people.

His family says he is a farmer and the victim of mistaken identity.

Sarabjit's relatives said he strayed into Pakistan in an inebriated state three months after the bombings.

Following the intervention of the Pakistan People's Party-led government, Sarabjit's execution was put off indefinitely.

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M Zulqarnain in Lahore
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