What did NDA do for Sarabjit’s release, asks Congress

New Delhi, May 3 (IANS) The Congress Friday questioned what the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance government did to ensure the release of Sarabjit Singh when it was in power, adding that the focus should now be on other Indians in Pakistani jails.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) cornered the government over Sarabjit’s death Thursday, demanding that diplomatic ties with Pakistan be scaled down until an assurance is offered for the security of Indians in Pakistani jails.

BJP leaders had also blamed the government for not doing enough to save Sarabjit Singh, who died Thursday of wounds sustained during an attack at a Lahore jail April 26.

“When then prime minister (Atal Bihari Vajpayee) went to Lahore, was Sarabjit Singh’s release on the agenda? When then Pakistan president (Parvez Musharraf) had come to Agra, was Sarabjit Singh’s release on the agenda? When composite dialogues were started, was the release of Sarabjit Singh on the agenda?” Congress leader Manish Tewari asked Friday.

“So, let’s not get into all this. The bigger issue is, an Indian citizen has been brutally killed. we should try to create pressure on Pakistan, talk to them, and all Indian prisoners who are in Pakistan jail, Pakistan should assure India of their safety,” he said.

Sarabjit Singh, who died after being comatose for a week, had been on death row on conviction in terrorist strikes in Pakistan that left 14 dead.

He spent over 20 years in jail.

His family held that his was a case of mistaken identity; he had crossed over into Pakistan in an inebriated state in 1990, and was neither a spy nor involved in any bomb blasts.

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