10 developments

Sarabjit Singh attacked: Send him home for treatment, India appeals to Pakistan

New Delhi/Lahore:  In a firmly worded statement, India has requested Pakistan to take a "sympathetic and humanitarian view" and release Sarabjit Singh, an Indian national who has been in prison in Pakistan for 23 years. Mr Singh, 49, has been in a coma since Friday when he was attacked by other inmates at a Lahore prison.
Here are 10 developments in the case:
  1. In its latest statement on Monday evening, the government of India said, "it is clear that his condition remains critical...In view of the recent tragic events and present circumstances, we once again appeal to the Government of Pakistan to take a sympathetic and humanitarian view of this case, and release Sarabjit Singh." (Read full text of the statement)
  2. The Indian government India has also urged Pakistan to allow Mr Singh to be moved to India. "We would like to consider the option of transferring Shri Sarabjit Singh to India so that he can benefit from the best medical treatment available here," the statement said
  3. Minister of State in the Ministry of External Affairs Preneet Kaur today told NDTV, "I won't rule out that Sarabjit Singh could be brought back."
  4. New Delhi has demanded that the murderous attack on Sarabjit Singh be investigated and that those responsible be identified and punished. It has told Islamabad that Pakistan must ensure the safety of all Indian prisoners in their custody.
  5. Pakistan has so far not indicated any willingness to shift Sarabjit out of Lahore's Jinnah hospital, where he is on ventilator support. The hospital is being treated like a sub-jail.
  6. Earlier today, India denied reports by local Pakistan TV channel that a team of four doctors had advised against moving Mr Singh "outside Pakistan for treatment."
  7. Mr Singh has been comatose since Friday evening when six prisoners hit him on the head with bricks and sharp metal pieces from a tin. The Indian High Commission in Islamabad said today that there was "no change for the better" in Sarabjit's condition.
  8. His family - his wife, sister and two daughters - have been in Lahore since yesterday after Pakistan granted them emergency visas. His sister, Dalbir Kaur, said, "I request my Indian government to please, without further delay, take Sarabjit away from here. And take him where he can be treated well."
  9. Indian diplomats in Pakistan have been given permission to visit Mr Singh in hospital twice a week, Pakistan's Foreign Ministry said today.
  10. Sarabjit was convicted for a string of bomb attacks in the Punjab province in Pakistan which killed 14 people in 1990. He has been on death row since 1991. His mercy petitions have been rejected by courts and former president Pervez Musharraf. His family says he is a victim of mistaken identity and had inadvertently strayed across the border.
Story First Published: April 29, 2013 17:01 IST

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