Indian PM asks pardon for terrorist Sarabjit Singh

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh assured a delegation of Punjab Congress members of Parliament and legislative assembly on Tuesday that he would speak to Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf on the death penalty given to Indian national Sarabjit Singh and that his government will do all it can to save him.

"The prime minister assured us that he would speak to Pakistan President Musharraf on the issue and that the government would do all it can to save the life of Indian national Sarabjit Singh," Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee chief Shamsher Singh Dullo told reporters in New Delhi after meeting the prime minister.

A group met the prime minister in Parliament and urged him to do everything possible to save the life of Sarabjit Singh, who has been sentenced to death in Pakistan on charges of involvement in bomb blasts, Rediff informs.

Sarabjit was arrested in Pakistan in 1990 on charges of espionage and terrorism, and carrying out bomb blasts in Lahore, Kasur and Faisalabad.

"He carried out bomb blasts in three cities. There was evidence and he has confessed to that evidence," said Pakistan Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mohammad Naeem Khan.

Pakistan Information Minister Sheikh Rashid said the only way Sarabjit would be pardoned, was if the families of those who died in the bomb blasts forgive him, NDTV reports.

Earlier, Kasuri had told NDTV that President Musharraf can grant clemency in the case.

Senior Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir also said the President could well pardon Sarabjit, as he had already served a life term in jail.

Meanwhile, support for Sarabjit has cut across political lines.

The film fraternity from both sides of the border has said they hoped the issue would be resolved amicably by both countries.

"Both countries should come closer, all the while respecting territorial boundaries," said Pakistani actor Nadeem Shah.

"I am sure there are a lot of Pakistanis in Indian jails and vice versa. The governments on either side of the border must take a lenient view of such prisoners on humanitarian grounds," said singer Sonu Nigam.

It now remains to be seen whether the growing support for Sarabjit will result in a pardon for him.

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