Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Death of Sarabjit Singh

Sarabjit Singh was murdered. It was premeditated, cold blooded murder. The attack on him in Kot Lakhpat Jail on 26/4/2013 was preplanned. He died in Jinnah Hospital around 12.45 a.m. on 2/5/2013. It happened on the second anniversary of the death of Osama Bin Laden, close to the time of his death. Some say Sarabjit Singh’s ventilator was taken off.
It was disgusting on the part of Sagarika Ghose (Face the Nation – CNN-IBN) to bring the issue of hanging of Afzal Guru and link the two and equate India and Pakistan. Afzal Guru was executed. If Pakistan had executed Sarabjit Singh it would have been different. Pakistan’s Supreme Court had sentenced him to death as Manjit Singh and Pakistan’s Presidents had rejected his mercy petitions. His family claimed it was a case of mistaken identity. However he was found guilty and did not get pardon or commutation.
Markandey Katju has not spoken on Sarabjit Singh’s death. He was instrumental in getting Khalil Chisti released. The understanding was that Sarabjit Singh will be released in return for Khalil Chisti. On 26/6/2012 there were reports that Sarabjit Singh would be released and Katju had written a letter to Asif Ali Zardari thanking him for the pardon. Later it turned out that the release was of Surjeet Singh.
Dalbir Kaur, sister of Sarabjit Singh, said Ansar Burney wanted 25 crore rupees for the release of Sarabjit Singh. That raises questions about people who are known as human rights activists and oppose death penalty. Those who have paid money to such activists should go public about it.
Dalbir Kaur and other family members had gone to Lahore to see Sarabjit Singh. They had 15-day visas and had returned after three days. There was demand to shift Sarabjit Singh to India or a third country to get best medical treatment. She wanted to meet Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi and other leaders. She had said she would fast for shifting of Sarabjit Singh out of Pakistan. She had blamed Indian government for Sarabjit Singh’s condition and had demanded Manmohan Singh’s resignation. During the night Sarabjit Singh died.
The criminals who attacked Sarabjit Singh were murderers who were sentenced to death. If they had been hanged they would not have murdered Sarabjit Singh. Death penalty is deterrent and preventive.
Pakistan has elections. It has caretaker governments at centre and in provinces. In Pakistan’s Punjab, Najam Sethi, who was editor of Friday Times, is caretaker chief minister. After elections there will be elected governments. India must review its relationship with Pakistan. India must withdraw Most Favoured Nation given to Pakistan as Pakistan has not reciprocated.
RAW and IB should be held accountable for their actions. If RAW blackmails people in Punjab and Rajasthan to go to Pakistan as spies it is a crime. Those who do that should be prosecuted. If some men willingly became spies and were caught in Pakistan, India should acknowledge them as spies and try for their release. India should stop sending spies to Pakistan.
In Pakistani jails Indian prisoners are kept separate from Pakistani prisoners. When Pakistan prisoners kill or murder Indian prisoners there is conspiracy and complicity.

Indian government has not been consistent in dealing with Pakistan. When terrorist or dastardly acts take place India says it will not be business as usual. After sometime it is business as usual. Pakistan’s leaders come here on “private” visits and Indian government entertains them.
There are people who say India should keep talking to Pakistan. Alternative to not talking is war. Their loyalty is suspect. They are wrong. Between not talking and war there are many options.
Those who attacked Pakistani prisoner Sanaullah Haq in Jammu’s Kot Bhalwal jail committed a crime and embarrassed India. It gave an opportunity to Pakistan’s High Commissioner Salman Bashir to pontificate. The guilty must be punished.

Updated: May 4, 2013 — 7:57 am

1 Comment

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  1. I don’t know why the Govt should develop cold feet in dealing with such issues.

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