Justice Katju appeals to Zardari for Sarabjit's release

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Justice Markandey Katju
New Delhi, Apr 10: Press Council of India (PCI) Chairman Justice Markandey Katju today appealed to Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari to release Indian national Sarabjit Singh, who is languishing in a Pakistani jail.

In a letter addressed to Mr Zardari through the Pakistan High Commissioner to India, Justice Katju said that Mr Zardari’s visit to India and Ajmer Sharif had created a climate for good relations between the two countries.

“I am appealing to you to order release of Sarabjit Singh and his return to India as a humanitarian gesture, exercising your power of pardon as the Pakistan President,” Justice Katju wrote in his letter.

“By doing so you will add to the excellent impression among Indians created by your recent visit to Delhi and Ajmer Sharif,” he added.

Justice Katju also mentioned the fact that Mr Zardari had earlier honoured an appeal made by the bench of the Indian Supreme Court (consisting of Justice Gyan Sudha Mishra and Justice Katju) to release Gopal Das, an Indian who had spent 27 years in Pakistani jails.

Justice Katju reminded Mr Zardari that the Supreme Court had quoted the famous couplet of Pakistani Urdu poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz: “Qafas udaas hai yaaron saba se kuch to kaho Kaheen to behar-e-khuda aaj zikr-e-yaar chale” in that judgement.

Thanking Mr Zardari for releasing Gopal Das, Justice Katju appealed for similar generosity in the case of Sarabjit Singh, an Indian national, who has been on death row in a Pakistani jail for over 20 years.

PTI

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