External Affairs Minister S M Krishna, who had yesterday thanked President Asif Ali Zardari following reports that Sarabjit, 49, was to be released which turned out to be untrue, today said the government was waiting for an official communication from Pakistan about who was being released.
He said he had seen media reports which said that one Surjeet Singh and not Sarabjit Singh was being released by Pakistan after 30 years of being in prison.
“I have seen media reports about the impending release from imprisonment in Pakistan of Surjeet Singh…I welcome this decision and further renew our request to the President of Pakistan to release Sarabjit Singh who has been in custody for over two decades. He is serving a death sentence,” Krishna said.
“As you are aware that the Government of India has consistently urged the Government of Pakistan on several occasions to take a sympathetic and humanitarian view on the case of Sarabjit Singh.
“I also appeal to the Government of Pakistan to release all Indian nationals who have completed prison term. I request the release of all Indians who are serving jail sentences in Pakistani prisons,” the minister said.
He said India has been impressing upon Pakistan that Sarabjit had already spent many years in prison and it was time for it to take a lenient view on him.
“We can understand the agony of his (Sarabjit’s) family. We have always taken up his issue with the urgency attached to it,” the minister said.