Indian HC officials visit Sarabjit after Pak grants access

Islamabad/New Delhi, Apr 29: Indian High Commission officials on Sunday visited Sarabjit Singh, comatose in a Lahore hospital following a brutal assault, for the second time in as many days after permission was granted by Pakistani authorities following an initial denial.

"The officials visited Singh in the Lahore hospital. His condition remains unchanged," a spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs said. Singh was brought to the hospital after a deadly attack by his fellow jail inmates.

Sarabjit Family

The Pakistan government "provided second consular access to Indian diplomats presently stationed in Lahore", said a statement issued by Foreign Office spokesman Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry.

The Indian officials were asked to coordinate with the Foreign Ministry's Deputy Chief of Protocol, Camp Office Lahore and the medical superintendent of Jinnah Hospital for consular arrangements, Chaudhry said.

It could not immediately be ascertained whether Pakistan had granted consular access only for one visit by Indian officials to the ICU of Jinnah Hospital, where Sarabjit is being treated. More than 45 hours after Sarabjit was admitted to Jinnah Hospital with a severe head injury, there has been "no sign" of recovery or improvement in his condition, the doctors treating him were quoted as saying by sources.

The doctors believe 49-year-old Sarabjit's chances of survival are "slim" as he sustained injuries over a widespread area of his head that led to unconsciousness. Earlier in the day, India had sought "regular consular access" so that its officials could visit Sarabjit and keep track of his treatment round the clock.

So far, two officials of the Indian High Commission deputed to Lahore were allowed to visit Sarabjit only for a few minutes at 2 am yesterday.


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