HRCP calls for review of Sarabjit’s conviction
LAHORE, March 19: While welcoming a one-month stay in execution of Sarabjit Singh, an Indian national convicted here of terrorism, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan on Wednesday called for a review of his case in the larger interest of the people of the subcontinent.
Singh was to be hanged on April 1 following his conviction of involvement in terrorist activities.
In a statement, the commission said: “The HRCP is as a matter of principle opposed to the award of the death penalty. While the death penalty continues to be awarded, it has have always argued in favour of leniency and clemency, especially in view of the flawed justice systems in this part of the world.”
The relations between India and Pakistan had long affected the entire population of South Asia. One of the factors contributing to tensions between the two neighbours was the horrible treatment meted out to the prisoners, it argued.
The HRCP said the recent death of a Pakistani youth, Khalid Mahmood, caused great distress among the people in Pakistan. The execution of Sarabjit Singh was bound to inflame passions in India and nothing could condone the death of Khalid, it contended.
At a time when normalisation of ties between the two countries was likely to be high on the new government’s agenda, the HRCP urged Pakistan to review Sarabjit’s sentence and avoid actions that might be deemed retaliatory.