External Affairs Minister S M Krishna will take up the issue of releasing Sarabjit Singh, Indian death row prisoner in Pakistan jail, with his Pakistani counterpart Hina Rabbani Khar, a senior MEA official assured on Friday.
According to reports, Sarabjit had written a letter to his sister, as well as UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, stating that he was being slow-poisoned and mentally tortured. MEA spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said that in the light of the news reports, if required, the Indian High Commission in Islamabad has been asked to assist Sarabjit’s lawyer.
“But at this stage my understanding is that the lawyer himself has requested the Pakistani authorities. Should he require further assistance on this matter the High Commission would assist him in terms of consular assistance,” he said.
It was pointed out that the External Affairs Minister has taken a “keen interest” in Sarabjit Singh’s case for a long time and had urged Pakistan to release him on sympathetic and humanitarian grounds. “If this matter further proceeds, the External Affairs Minister has assured Sarabjit’s family that he would raise it when he meets his opposite number whenever and wherever that is,” the official said.
Krishna is scheduled to travel to Islamabad from September 7 to 9, where he will be meeting with the Pakistani Foreign Minister.
Earlier this year in June, there had been a miscommunication from the Pakistani Government’s side, which had led Sarabjit’s family to believe for hours that he was being released.