Dalbir Kaur, sister of Indian prisoner in Pakistan Sarabjit Singh, has said she has got “some indications” that he will be released on August 14, Pakistan Independence Day.
Ms. Kaur, accompanied by Sarabjit’s elder daughter Swapandeep Kaur and Punjabi filmmaker Surinder Rehal, told journalists here on Friday that while she could not reveal the names of Pakistani officials who assured her of his release, her optimism increased after meeting Congress president Sonia Gandhi and other national leaders. She said the Pakistan government could release Sarabjit, along with many other prisoners, as part of a measure of clemency it has announced.
In a goodwill gesture, she was posting ‘rakhis’ to Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari and the Governor of Pakistan’s Punjab province, besides one to her brother, Ms. Kaur said. The family hoped that Sarabjit, who was recently granted presidential pardon after being on death row for almost 20 years, would celebrate Diwali at home, even if he could not return by Rakshabandhan, which falls on August 2.
Ms. Kaur countered a statement of Surjeet Singh, who was repatriated recently, that Sarabjit was also involved in espionage, and that the condition in Pakistani prisons was good. Unlike Surjeet, who received Rs. 5 lakh from Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, Sarabjit’s family got nothing, she said.