Acting on a request by Press Council of India (PCI) Chairman Justice Markandey Katju, a member of the Pakistani Press Council has begun efforts to set up a committee and start a movement for the release of Indian prisoner Sarabjit Singh.
In a letter written to Justice Katju on Thursday, Pakistan Press Council member Syed Faseih Iqbal said that convinced by Justice Katju’s viewpoint he had written to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan about launching a movement for Sarabjit’s release.
“I have noted your standpoint on Sarabjit Singh’s imprisonment and agree with your observation that people on both sides of the border generally land in trouble due to their country of origin, not an original fault of theirs,” Mr. Iqbal said.
“I have therefore personally written to Mr I A Rehman, Secretary General of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, for his immediate consideration to the possibility of setting up the Committee and launching a movement for release of Sarabjit Singh,” he added.
Mr. Iqbal said that he had written to the Pakistani Human Rights Commission as he felt that human rights organisations active in Pakistan can be more effective in this regard.
Mr. Iqbal expressed hope that concerted efforts would lead to the release of Sarabjit Singh, other similar prisoners on both sides of the border, and also resolve other humanitarian problems between the two countries.
Earlier, Justice Katju had in a letter to Iqbal said that he had reservations about the judgement convicting Sarabjit Singh as the main witness Shaukat Salim had retracted his statement and said it was given under police pressure.
“In my opinion what went against him (Sarabjit) was that he was an Indian, just as what went against Dr Chishty was that he was a Pakistani. I request you to set up a Free Sarabjit Singh Committee and start a campaign for his release,” Justice Katju had written.