Over 100,000 people
in India, including former test cricketers and chief justices, have
signed a petition addressed to Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari
seeking clemency for Sarabjit Singh, an Indian currently on death
row in a Pakistani prison.
Awais Sheikh, the counsel for Sarabjit, was quoted by a private
television channel as saying that said he had brought back a mercy
petition with more than 100,000 signatures from a recent visit to
"The signatories include former test cricketer Kapil Dev, the Imam
of Delhi''s Jama Masjid Syed Ahmed Bukhari, Syed Amin Hashmi of the
Ajmer Sharif shrine, former Chief Justices R S Mongia and Rajindar
Sachar, members of Indian human rights groups, Christian and Muslim
bodies, doctors, engineers, lawyers, farmers and students," Sheikh
Sheikh said he would submit the mercy petition to the President and
also apprise him about the sentiments of the Indians in this regard.
"Since Sarabjit has been in prison for long, his sentence can be
commuted to life imprisonment under the law," he said. Commuting
Sarabjit''s sentence will help improve relations between India and
Pakistan, he added.
Sarabjit has been on death row since he was convicted for alleged
involvement in four bomb blasts in Pakistan''s Punjab province that
killed 14 people in 1990. His family insists that he was wrongly
convicted for the bombings.
Though he was to be hanged on April 1 last year, Pakistani
authorities put off his execution indefinitely after Prime Minister
Yousuf Raza Gilani intervened in the matter. (ANI)