Islamabad, Former Pakistan Federal Minister Ansar Burney has once again appealed to President Asif Ali Zardari to convert the death sentence of an Indian national, Sarabjeet Singh, into life imprisonment on humanitarian grounds.
Singh has now spent 21 years in a death cell and has lost precious moments of life without his wife and family due to an unfair trial and allegedly a case of mistaken identity, reports The Dawn.
According to the issued press release, Burney wrote in his mercy petition addressed to the president: “I, in the very greater interest of humanity, human dignity, Justice and human rights once again insisting and requesting to please immediately convert the death sentence of an Indian national Sarabjeet Singh into life imprisonment as Singh is at present in a Death Cell at Kot Lakhpat Jail in Punjab since last 21 long years and after such a long period hanging of such a prisoner would become a murder of justice (I repeat Murder of Justice).”
“Where was it in Islam to hang innocents or prisoners of circumstances or those sentenced only because of false witnesses, or those who spent more than life imprisonment?” he continued. Burney added, “I would humbly like to once again ask; that how a democratic government can hang a person who had already completed a life sentence (in such a cruel and inhuman circumstances), which is not less than a hell.”
He wrote, “I hope your good self would look into this matter seriously and will take some appropriate decisions within time.
This request has been made in the very greater interest of justice, humanity and human dignity.” Burney’s request came after the Indian Supreme Court allowed ailing Pakistani microbiologist Mohammad Khalil Chishti to travel to his home country on humanitarian grounds. Dr Chishti is Pakistan’s first virologist.
He had gone to India in 1992 to see his ailing mother where he was implicated in a murder case. After an 18-year-long trial, the octogenarian professor was awarded life imprisonment and sent to the Ajmer jail in January last year.