President Musharraf rejects clemency to Sarabjit Singh

President Musharraf rejects clemency to Sarabjit SinghAmritsar, Mar 6: Sarabjit Singh who is on the death row in Pakistan fails to gain clemency, and his family is grief stricken following the rejection of his mercy plea by President Pervez Musharraf.

The rejection comes close on the heels of the release of Kashmir Singh, another death row prisoner who was recently released by Pakistan.

President Musharraf has reportedly rejected the mercy petition of Sarabjit Singh, and he is condemned to death for his alleged involvement in four bomb blasts in Pakistan in 1990.

Sarabjit, who Pakistan claims is actually Manjit Singh, was sentenced to death for his alleged involvement in the bomb blasts in Lahore and Multan that killed 14 people.

As reports reached Amritsar, family members of Sarabjit were in a state of shock and also confused over the status of the case.

In an effort to pressurize the Governments of India and Pakistan to ensure Sarabjit's release, his sister Dalbir Kaur had earlier threatened self-immolation.

The family resting faith in the Almighty also believes that Sarabjit will be released and their plea will be heard.

"After we came to know about the decision through reports, we have come to the Gurdwara and we are praying for his long life so that he is released as soon as possible. God, who is so kind-hearted to all can't be so cruel to us. As Kashmir Singh has been released we believe Sarabjit will also come back to India in similar way," said Dalbir Kaur, sister of Sarabjit.

Sarabjit had sent a mercy petition to Musharraf pleading for his release on the grounds that he was innocent and wrongly implicated.

Pakistan's Supreme Court also rejected Sarabjit's mercy petition in March 2006.

Sarabjit's daughter who is equally distraught over the reports says they have once again sent a request to the Government.

As President Musharraf granted mercy to Kashmir Singh, who returned to India after 35 years, the family of Sarabjit too hopes the same for Sarabjit.

"As Kashmir Singh has been released, I don't think President Musharraf will be so harsh on my father. He can't do this to him. Our family has again sent a plea to both the Governments, so that they look into the issue and release him as soon as possible," said Swarandeep, daughter of Sarabjit.

His family denies he was a spy as claimed by Pakistan and insists he accidentally strayed into Pakistani territory.

The Indian Government has pressed for clemency for Singh but has not made a formal request on his behalf.

Singh's family has stated that files containing evidence that would help in his acquittal are lost in Pakistan.

Pakistani officials meanwhile, say Singh was arrested while trying to slip back into India after the bomb blasts. (ANI)