Stockholm, May 19: There is a message from Pakistani lawyer, Awais Sheikh, who risked everything to defend and save Indian national Sarabjit Singh, to India. Sheikh said India should not celebrate after winning the round one of Kulbhushan Jadhav (another Indian citizen) case against neighbouring Pakistan. The International Court of Justice stayed Jadhav's death penalty on Thursday, thus favouring India's stand on the matter.
Sheikh, who is currently staying in Sweden as he was tortured and threatened in Pakistan for defending Singh, told News18 that he was closely watching the Jadhav case.
"India has won half the battle. There is no doubt that it is a legal, moral, psychological and diplomatic gain, but it will be immature to celebrate the order at this stage. It will be premature for India to celebrate. The task before India is to get Kulbhushan back home safe and secure. To achieve this, India needs to tread carefully and exhaust all possible means intelligently," added Sheikh.
"Although both were accused of spying and sentenced to death, Sarabjit's case was different. He was tried and convicted by a civil court, whereas Kulbhushan Jadhav has been convicted by a military court. Sarabjit was tortured mercilessly. My book--Sarabjit Singh: A Case of Mistaken Identity--has the story. In the case of Kulbhushan Jadhav, it has not been ascertained yet whether he was subjected to torture," Sheikh observed.
Like Singh, Jadhav too has been convicted of spying and terrorism by Pakistani courts. While a military court in Pakistan gave death sentence to Jadhav in April this year, the Supreme Court in Pakistan sentenced Singh to death in 1991. Singh's death penalty was repeatedly postponed by the Pakistani authorities. He died in 2013, after jail inmates brutally attacked him.
In Jadhav's case, the Centre decided to approach the ICJ to bring back the former naval officer to India safe after Pakistan repeatedly denied consular access to him.