जस्टिस काटजू के पत्र पर पाकिस्‍तानी पत्रकार ने की सरबजीत के रिहाई का समर्थन

पाकिस्तान की जेल में बंद भारतीय नागरिक सरबजीत सिंह की रिहाई के लिए सीमापार से समर्थन मिला है। पाकिस्तान की प्रेस परिषद के सदस्य ने इस संबंध में दाखिल याचिका का समर्थन किया है। भारतीय प्रेस परिषद के अध्यक्ष मार्कंडेय काट्जू ने पिछले दिनों पाकिस्तान सरकार से सिंह की रिहाई के लिए कई बार अपील की है। काटजू की अपील पर अधिकारियों की तरफ से अभी तक कोई प्रतिक्रिया नहीं आई है, लेकिन लेकिन पाकिस्तान के जाने-माने पत्रकार और वहां की प्रेस परिषद के सदस्य सईद फासेह इकबाल ने भारतीय प्रेस परिषद के अध्यक्ष के पत्र में रखी गई मांग का समर्थन किया है।

इकबाल ने अपने पत्र में कहा है कि मुझे यह कहने में काफी खुशी हो रही है कि पाकिस्तान और भारत में शांति चाहले वाले नागरिक आपकी अपील की सराहना करते हैं और इसके प्रति समर्थन व्यक्त करते हैं। उन्होंने कहा कि हम इस विचार से सहमत हैं कि सरबजीत को क्षमा प्रदान करना चाहिए। इस संदर्भ में जस्टि काटजू द्वारा भेजा गया मेल और उसके जवाब में आया सईद फासेह इकाबाल का मेल नीचे।

  From: Markandey Katju <mark_katju@yahoo.co.in>
            To: ihaider45@yahoo.com
            Cc: nasiraslamzahid@gmail.com, beena.sarwar@gmail.com, swapan_5858@yahoo.com, asmalaw@hotmail.com, maheshfilm@gmail.com, "jatin desai jatin" <jatindesai123@gmail.com>, kavisriv@gmail.com
            Date: Thursday, 24 May, 2012, 9:03 AM

Dear Senator Iqbal,
We in India are very happy over Dr. Chishty's release and return home.
Now I wish to request you all to do something in Sarabjit Singh's case.He is an Indian in a Pakistan jail for 22 years, 21 of which have been on death row. He was convicted for involvement in the Lahore bomb blast of 1990 in which 14 people were killed. I was going through some details of his case and found that the main prosecution witness, Shaukat Salim, later in a taped statement retracted his statement in Court and said that it was given under police pressure. The other evidence against him is said to be his alleged confession, but we all know how confessions are obtained in both our countries (by third degree methods).
My own opinion is that he had gone to Pakistan to do some illegal business ( he claimed he had gone to do illegal liquor trade), but he was certainly not involved in the Lahore bomb blast of 1990. Unfortunately the atmosphere in both our countries is so vitiated that often we regard people of each other's countries as devils, and both Dr. Chishty and Sarabjit were victims of this mindset.
I sent 3 appeals to President Zardari for granting him pardon , the first through the Pakistan High Commissioner to India Mr. Shahid Malik, the second through Mr. Ansar Burney who met me at my residence in Delhi some time back, and the third through Dr. Chishty who was returning to Pakistan. There has been no response from President Zardari to any of these letters.
Sarabjit has been on death row ( not merely in jail) for 21 years, with a damocles sword hanging over his head all the time. This surely is enough to drive anyone mad. Is this not punishment enough (even assuming he was guilty, about which I have grave reservations)?
In my opinion the prestige of Pakistan will go up if he is released and sent back to India. That will also help in improving the vitiated atmosphere in our countries.
Sarabjit's family members, including his sister Dalbir Kaur and his grown up children have met me in Delhi and I promised them that I will do my best to secure his release and return to India as I think  injustice was done to him (just as I think injustice was done to Dr. Chishty). So please help in any way you can.
Justice Katju

From: Syed Faseih Iqbal <sfi1936@yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: Fw:
To: "Markandey Katju" <mark_katju@yahoo.co.in>
Date: Monday, 28 May, 2012, 12:32 AM

CE/Prs/2012/05-47                                                                                    May 27, 2012

My dear Justice Markandey Sahab

I hope this letter finds you in best of health and spirit.

 Thank you for your e-mail of 24 May. I greatly value your concern for all cross border prisoners in both our countries. We in Pakistan acknowledge the positive role you and your colleagues played in paving way for the release of Dr. Khalil Chishti who is now back with his family thanks to a wave of positive confidence building measures including your sincere efforts in this regard.

Your first appeal to the President of Pakistan, sent through Pakistani High Commissioner in India, definitely broke some ice. For I personally am a staunch believer that the issue of cross border prisoners must not be used for political purpose rather only considered purely on humanitarian grounds, I had promptly published a special news comment in my newspaper The Balochistan Times Quetta, strongly supporting your appeal for Sarabhjit’s release and had also written to President Zardari in this regard. Your persistence in this matter is laudable and I take the idea of continuously knocking the door. I have taken note of valid and logical points you have made in your instant e-mail and would like to inform you that I am again going to publish another special news comment in my newspaper in support of your appeal, write another letter to President Zardari and also mobilize public opinion in favour of Sarabhjit’s release through prominent human rights activists in my country.

I am pleased to observe that all peace loving people in Pakistan have appreciated your appeal and expressed their support for it. We share a common opinion that pardon to Sarabhjit Singh, if granted, may prove to be a turning point culminating in a full-fledged peace process between our two countries.

 I have very high hopes that our joint efforts would ultimately lead to Sarabhjit’s release.

 With best wishes and highest regards,

Senator (R)

Syed Faseih Iqbal (H.I, S.I)


Convener: Pakistan Association of Former Parliamentarians

Member: Press Council of Pakistan

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