Sarabjit’s death: HRCP urges justice, steps to contain damage

May 2, 2013 Off By Web Desk

LAHORE: Human Rights Commission of Pakistan HRCP has demanded action against all those who played any part in the assault on Indian prisoner Sarabjit Singh, who died in a hospital on Wednesday, and called upon Islamabad and Delhi to take urgent measures to prevent the incident from undermining bilateral ties and to improve the lot of detainees from the other country in each other’s prisons.

In a statement issued on Thursday, the Commission said: “Not even the most naïve person can believe that a prisoner like Sarabjit in a death cell inside a jail can be targeted in such a brutal assault by prisoners without the knowledge and support of prison guards and the authorities. This is far more serious a crime than allowing someone like General Pervez Musharraf to escape from court.

It was no secret that Sarabjit faced more threats than other prisoners on account of the charge that he was convicted of and yet his security was so completely compromised. He died when members of the joint PakIndia Judges Committee were visiting Pakistan in order to assess the conditions of detention of Indian prisoners in Pakistani jails.

Those in Pakistan who take pride in their vengefulness must feel some shame today, if they are capable of that. Those elements in India who are no less vengeful, intolerant and fond of jingoism than their Pakistani counterparts would no doubt write their own script now.

HRCP is concerned that Sarabjit’s death might undermine the hard work done by both countries to normalize relations. They will have to go out of their way to undo the damage that the murder and the manner that it took place in has done. The need to expeditiously conclude a judicial inquiry to bring all those who are involved to justice cannot be stressed enough. If the two countries begin to treat each other’s prisoners with some compassion even now instead of exposing them to the worst of treatment reserved for prisoners in their jails, then some good would still have come from Sarabjit’s brutal murder.”