| Sarabjit Singh’s sister Dalbir Kaur and his daughter Poonam offer prayers at Takht Shri Harmandir Sahib in Patna on Monday for his release. Picture by Sachin |
The family of Sarabjit Singh offered prayers at Takht Shri Harmandir Sahib in Patna City for his release on a day the commanders of the Indian and Pakistani armies attended a flag meeting to defuse the escalating tension between the countries.
A resident of Bhikhind village in Amritsar, Sarabjit is accused in the 1990 bomb blasts in Punjab province of Pakistan that killed 14 people. He was convicted and sentenced to death. President Asif Ali Zardari turned the sentence into life imprisonment later. At present, he is lodged at Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore.
On Monday, his sister Dalbir Kaur and daughter Poonam Singh came to the historic gurdwara to pray for his release.
“Recent developments like the hanging of Ajmal Kasab, the Pakistani youth convicted for the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, have perturbed us,” Dalbir claimed. The killing of two Indian soldiers, purportedly by their Pakistani counterparts, at the LoC in Kashmir on January 8 has also added to her worries.
“The recent cross border tension is worrying. But we hope that things will be sorted out in a few months,” Dalbir said. She is optimistic about the release of her brother in March this year “The tenure of the present government will come to an end and a caretaker government will be formed before the elections. We hope that the Pakistan President will do the needful (release Sarabjit) before the formation of the new government,” she added.
Poonam claimed that her father had done nothing wrong. “He has been in jail for 22 years. We hope that the Pakistan government will release him,” she said.
In August last year, a 21-member parliamentary delegation from Pakistan visited Bihar. Leader of the delegation Muhammed Jahangir Badar had said: “People who have imprisoned for very long in a foreign country should be repatriated.” He had added that the governments of both the countries were considering Sarabjit’s case.