//Sarabjit Singh's family threatens to commit suicide

Sarabjit Singh's family threatens to commit suicide

PTI, Saturday, March 11, 2006  21:28 IST

AMRITSAR: The family of Indian prisoner Sarabjit Singh, whose review petition against his death sentence was rejected by the Pakistan Supreme Court, on Saturday threatened to commit suicide at the Wagah border if the government failed to repatriate him to India within a week.

Addressing the mediapersons here, Sarabjit’s sister Dalbir Kaur said in the next 30 days entire family would commit suicide at the Wagah border if the Indian government failed to bring him back safely within a week.

But before taking the extreme step the family members will sit on a hunger strike at the border and stage a protest before the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi to mount pressure on Islamabad to extend Sarabjit unconditional clemency, she said.

"We will also urge the High Commission to grant us visa to visit the Kotlakhpat Rai Jail at Lahore where Sarabjit is languishing for the past one-and-half decade," she told the media in presence of Sarabjit’s wife Sukhbir and daughter Poonam.

She urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that being a Sikh he should come forward to hold dialogue with Pakistan to ensure her brother’s early release.

Ridiculing Pakistani Law Minister Wasi Zafar’s statement that the President had no power to pardon Sarabjit, whose review petition against the death sentence was rejected by country’s Supreme court, Dalbir said as per the top most Indian lawyers the President is empowered to release Sarabjit even if his cases are pending in the apex court.

She claimed that next week BJP and Shiromani Akal Dal MPs would meet President of India A P J Abdul Kalam and urge him to facilitate Sarabjit’s unconditional clemency.

Sarbjit was never a terrorist and strayed to Pakistan under the influence of alcohol 1990 from the Khalra Border Sector near their village Bikhiwind, when there used to be no barbed fencing on the Indo Pak border, she said with moist eyes.

Poonam, the yougest daughter of Sarabjit, who was just 23 days old when he crossed over to Pakistan, said she was anxious to see her father at the earliest but added that all depended on whether the High Commission granted them visa to visit the country.