Pak HR activist Burney to meet Sarabjit's family

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Amritsar, Apr 2: Pakistan's human rights activist Ansar Burney will meet Sarabjit Singh's family here this afternoon. The visit is being undertaken on the invitation of Punjab Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal. Earlier, Burney had said that he would meet Sarabjit's family and his sister Dalbir Kaur to gather evidence, which, the latter claim, supports their contention that he was a victim of mistaken identity.

"This will make it easier for me to work for his case," he added. Burney had urged the new government to consider converting Sarabjit's death sentence into life imprisonment on "humanitarian grounds". Burney said the request was being made as Sarabjit had "spent more than a life sentence on death row in Pakistani jails". Sarabjit was to be hanged on April 1, but Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf deferred his execution by a month. The new date for his execution is April 30.

Sarabjit has been on death row since Pakistan's Supreme Court rejected his petition for mercy in March 2006. He has been accused of having played a major role in serial blasts across Pakistan, which claimed at least 14 lives in 1991.

He has been languishing in a Pakistani jail for 17 years.

During his visit, Burney will also request the Indian Government to release all such prisoners without delay and repatriate them back to Pakistan.

"At the same time, I will also try and meet the Pakistani prisoners who are in Indian jails. Obviously, I will also try and do whatever is possible for their release," he had said.

There are as many as 46 Pakistani prisoners alone in Indian Punjab jails alone, who had completed their jail term but not yet released.


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