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.