Ready to serve the country again, says Kashmir Singh

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Rajkot, July 10 (UNI) Kashmir Singh, who was freed recently from a Pakistani jail after 35 years, said today that he has got a new life and is ready to serve the country again, if the government asked him to do so.

The 67-year-old Singh, accompanied by his wife Paramjeet Kaur and his friend G C Bhardvaj, former Head of News, All India Radio, Chandigarh, was here on a visit to Gujarat.

"I went Pakistan to serve the country. I did the duty assigned to me as a spy," he said at a press conference.

Mr Singh had at one time served in the army and also as a police constable. He was arrested in Rawalpindi in 1973 and sentenced to death by a military court on charges of espionage.

A resident of Nangal Choran village in Hoshiarpur district, he recounted his days in captivity in different Pakistani jails. "I was kept in solitary confinement and remained chained for 17 long years," he said.

In reply to a question regarding compensation, Mr Singh said, human rights activist Ranjan Lakhanpal has already moved a Punjab court seeking adequate compensation from the Centre.

Mr Bhardwaj said that Punjab government has promised to give Rs 10,000 as pension per month and a house for the family at Mahilpur in Hoshiarpur district.

The state government has also decided to give a government job to Shishpal Singh, his physically challenged son, he said.

International Human Right Activist Advocate M K Paul who has been working for the cause of PoWs and Indian spies languishing in Pakistan jails, said that out of 16 spies, five have been freed with the efforts of International Human Rights Commission. Ram Prakash, freed just a day ago after serving a 10-year jail term in Pakistan on charges of spying, has returned to India, Mr Paul added.

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