Pakistan is “positively considering India’s request to repatriate Sarabjit Singh to India” but a final decision is yet to be taken, diplomatic sources said late on Wednesday night after New Delhi suggested shifting the death row prisoner to a third country as an alternative.
The alternative to repatriating Singh was proposed by Indian High Commissioner Sharat Sabharwal during a meeting with Pakistan Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani on Tuesday. While making the alternative proposal, India also pointed out that this is not the time for invoking legal and bureaucratic reasons for not taking the right steps to save a human life.
“We believe that every endeavour should be made to save his life,” a statement by the External Affairs Ministry in New Delhi about the meeting said. The alternative proposal was mooted after Pakistan maintained a studied silence over India’s appeal on Monday to shift Singh to an Indian hospital for treatment. During their discussion, Mr. Sabharwal reiterated India’s appeal to immediately release Singh on humanitarian and sympathetic grounds so that he can benefit from the best available treatment in India.
Till Wednesday night, the Foreign Office did not reveal its mind on the various suggestions made by India. And, even now, there is no official word though diplomatic sources maintained that repatriating Singh to India was under active consideration.