Now Dalbir Kaur to fight for release of Pak prisoners in Indian

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Jalandhar, May 1 (UNI) Besides single-handedly spearheading the campaign for the release of her brother Sarabjit Singh, who is on a death row in Pakistan, Dalbir Kaur will now fight for the release of Pakistani prisoners lodged in Indian jails and vice versa, whatever may be the fate of her sibling.

Inspired by former Pakistan Human Rights Minister Ansar Burney's selfless initiative in the release of Indian prisoner Kashmir Singh, who had spent nearly 30 years in Pakistan jails, Dalbir Kaur, whose endless efforts were likely to bear fruit, has now decided to work for the release of nearly 45 condemned Pakistani prisoners. Most of them had already completed their sentences but were not released from the jails while others were arrested on petty issues, so that they should be reunited with their families.

She said she would also work for the release of Indian prisoners lodged in Pakistan jails.

She had been given the list of Pakistani prisoners by Brigadier Rao Abid Hamid (Retd), a Pakistan Human Rights activist working with Chairperson of Pakistan Human Rights Commission, Asma Jahangir. She had requested the Chairperson to help her in getting the two Indian women prisoners released from Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore who had lost their mental balance.

Talking to UNI, Dalbir Kaur said she would continue her tirade towards the release of Pakistani prisoners even if Sarabjit is not freed by the Pakistan government.

She said to expedite the release of the Pakistan prisoners, she had faxed a letter to Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi to apprise him of the messages of the Pakistan people, whose kith and kin were languishing in Indian jails.

"When I visited Pakistan recently, many people met me with names and addresses of their relatives lodged in Indian jails," she said adding that she had sought permission for meeting these prisoners, included in the list, from External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee so that she could take their messages and letters back to their relatives, when she would revisit the neighbouring country soon.

She recalled an incident in which a relative of a Pakistani prisoner in Indian jail had been duped by an Indian lawyer after taking thousands of rupees to fight the prisoners' case. She said the relative had alleged that he had been duped by the lawyer on the pretext of depositing Court fine which he did not, resulting in long delay in the release.

Dalbir Kaur's brother Sarabjit Singh, who had been condemned to death for his alleged role in bomb blasts in Lahore and Multan in 1991 and is in jail since then, was scheduled to be hanged today, but due to the appeal of the Indian government and campaign launched by her, his hanging was again deferred for a period of 21 days.

UNI DP MSJ VC1915

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