'Foreign prisoners awaiting release be lodged in guesthouses'
05 September, 2012
LAHORE: President of the Pak-India Peace Initiative (PIPI) and Sarabjit Singh's counsel Advocate Awais Sheikh urged the government to keep all foreign prisoners who had completed their punishment in guesthouses until their release formalities were completed.
Addressing a press conference held at Lahore Press Club after his return from India on Tuesday, Sheikh told the media that it was unfair that foreign prisoners had to remain in jails when their terms had been completed, and they waited for fulfilment of formalities of their release.
He demanded the government to take initiatives to keep all foreign prisoners in guesthouses to show a good gesture to the international community.
Sheikh told the media that around 24 Pakistani prisoners were confined in Indian jails while around 32 Indian prisoners were detained in Pakistani jails, despite the fact that their release orders had been issued from courts for over nine months.
Talking about the issue of Sarabjit, he said he along with the prisoner's family members were hopeful that President Asif Ali Zardari would pardon Sarabjit before the Indian prime minister's next visit to Pakistan as a goodwill gesture. He also conveyed a special message from Sarabjit's family in which they hoped that Indian prime minister would share their wishes to release Sarabjit on humanitarian grounds with President Zardari during his visit to Pakistan.
Answering a question about Sarabjit's health, he said the prisoner in a letter written to his family had disclosed that he was being poisoned in jail and felt pain in his left leg. He said despite receiving medical treatment and medicine, Sarabjit was being mistreated by jail officials, who made fun of his claims.