The death of Pakistani prisoner Sanaullah Haq, after being brutally attacked by a fellow prisoner in the Kot Bhalwal jail, Jammu, has put the government in an awkward position. The opportunity to expose Pakistan over the Sarabjit Singh episode has been lost.
The two countries will continue criticising each other like the Congress and the BJP do back home — the Congress criticising the BJP for the Gujarat riots and the BJP continuing to harp on the 1984 riots. There is no end to the blame game.
Indians and Pakistanis have a similar mentality. We are certainly not higher mortals. The brutal attack on Sanaullah in retaliation to Sarabjit’s killing proves that baser instincts guide our behaviour as much as they do across the border.
Prisoners everywhere are brutal and at loggerheads with one another. The unchecked and fatal violence against Sanaullah should embarrass us all. By failing to protect him, the government has become complicit in a callous tit-for-tat game.
One Indian was fatally injured by fellow prisoners in a Pakistani jail and, in retaliation, a Pakistani prisoner was brutally beaten in an Indian jail, leading to his death. Sarabjit’s body was sent to India and Sanaullah’s body to Pakistan. Is it the end of the matter?
There are many more Pakistani prisoners in Indian jails and Indian prisoners in Pakistani jails. Both countries should strive to ensure their safety. The fact that Sanaullah was attacked despite the government’s directive to jails following Sarabjit’s killing shows that directives alone will not serve the purpose. Both the countries should take a step forward to normalise their relations.
T.V. Nageswara Rao,
Sanaullah’s death is unfortunate and embarrassing. What is the difference between India and Pakistan when it comes to the treatment of prisoners belonging to the other country?