Lahore, Oct 28: Good news and a diwali gift for the Indian National Sarabjit Singh in Pakistan as he has been shifted from death row to a normal cell in a Lahore jail. With this there are hopes that Sarabjit, who has been awarded capital punishment, might not be executed, reports Pakistani TV channel Geo news. Sarabjit convicted for triggering blasts killing 14 people in Pakistan in 1990, would not be hanged. However, there are no official word in this regard so far. Sarabjit, whom Pakistani authorities call Manjit Singh, has been on death row since he was convicted for alleged involvement in four bomb attacks in Punjab province in 1990. Sarabjit's family, who visited Pakistan this year seeking his release, insists that he was wrongly convicted for the attacks.
His execution, initially set for April 1, was deferred for 30 days by former President Pervez Musharraf so that the new PPP-led government could review his case following India's appeal for clemency. After Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani intervened in the matter, Pakistani authorities put off Sarabjit's execution 'till further orders'. Pakistan Law Minister Farooq Naek, who met Sarabjit in Lahore's Kot Lakhpat jail earlier this month, said he had sought the Indian's file from the prison superintendent so that he could study his case. The 42-year-old has already spent 17 years behind bars.
Leading Pakistani human rights activist Ansar Burney, who earlier played a key role in the release of another Indian prisoner Kashmir Singh, recently asked the Pakistan government to commute all death sentences, including that of Sarabjit, to life imprisonment, saying a majority of death row prisoners had been wrongly convicted.