Millennium Post

Pakistan refuses to return Sarabjit

Pakistan refuses to return Sarabjit
Pakistan on Monday rejected the demands to shift hospitalised Sarabjit Singh to India for better treatment. This decision was taken after a four-member medical board, comprising Shaukat Mehmud, Zafar Iqbal, Anjum Habib and Naeem Kasuri, examined Singh in the hospital’s intensive care unit on Monday morning.

Dismissing reports that a medical board was considering a proposal to send Sarabjit abroad, Pakistan on Monday said Sarabjit Singh will not be shifted anywhere outside Pakistan.

Pakistan information minister Arif Nizami on the sidelines of an official event in Islamabad told a news agency that ‘Sarabjit is being provided the best possible care in Jinnah hospital and there are no plans to move him.’ Singh was brutally assaulted by two fellow inmates in Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat jail on Friday and was brought into the city’s Jinnah hospital in a state of unconsciousness.

Meanwhile, India on Monday appealed to Pakistan to take a sympathetic and humanitarian view of Sarabjit Singh’s case and release him. External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said, ‘Hope that Pakistan, at least now, takes our plea of his release seriously. We are doing the best we can and have repeatedly used all diplomatic instruments to get him back.’

A statement released by external affairs ministry stated, ‘It is the responsibility of the Pakistan government to ensure safety and security of all Indian prisoners in their custody.’

It demanded a thorough investigation into the attack on Sarabjit Singh and punishing those responsible. ‘We would like to consider the option of transferring Singh to India so that he can benefit from the best medical treatment available here,’ the statement said.

MEA sources added that India is building pressure on Pakistan to send him back, however, ‘we have been told by our counterparts that his best chance of survival is there and that’s why we are not going out of the way.’

On the investigation front, sources said that in a preliminary probe report submitted to the Pakistan government, jail authorities have said that the security lapse was the main cause of attack. One of the two prisoners who had attacked Singh have told the cops that it was because of ‘murder of innocent Pakistanis’ that they beat him up.

The Pakistan government, meanwhile, is considering regular consular access to Sarabjit as his family has already arrived in Pakistan on Sunday and one of them has been allowed to remain with Singh.


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