New Delhi: Pakistan terms it a meager misunderstanding but it should be considered as breach of Indian trust. When there was a sense of relief all round that finally President Asif Ali Zardari orders to free Sarabjit Singh, Pakistan did a volte-face on Tuesday night by saying that it is Surjeet Singh not Sarabjit whose release orders are passed.
How could the whole drama be named as a 'misunderstanding' when our very own External Affairs Minister SM Krishna welcomed Pakistan's decision of releasing Sarabjit Singh, the Indian death row prisoner lodged in a Pakistani jail for the past 22 years?
What surprises us is not the Pakistan's volte-face but it is Krishna's soft behavior for Pakistan as he has now welcomed Surjeet Singh's release! He also urged Pakistan to take a "sympathetic and humanitarian view" of Sarabjit's case. The complete picture defines the week political stand of both the country as on one side Pakistan turns back from his decision and on the other side India still has kept a soft approach towards them.
Srabjit's wife Sukhpreet Kaur and daughter Poonam Kaur were dancing and sharing sweets as soon as they heard the Singh's release reports in media but just after hours their dreams of meeting Sarabjit shattered. Pakistan undoubtedly has played with the emotions of those innocent family members.
"The faux pas has played with our emotions. But I still hope that my father will be released soon," Sarabjit's daughter said.
The complete story:
Death sentence was issued to Sarabjit Singh for his alleged involvement in a series of blasts in Punjab in 1990 that claimed 14 lives. He is currently being held at Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore and has been on death row for over 20 years.
On June 26, the Pakistani media had carried reports of Sarabjit getting a presidential pardon. It brought cheers on the faces of Sarabjit's family member. But after 8 hours, Pakistan clarified that the prisoner being released was actually a Faridkot native named Surjeet Singh, and not Bhikhiwind native Sarabjit.
On the whole, presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar said, "I think there is some confusion. First, it is not a case of pardon. More importantly, it is not Sarabjit. It is Surjeet Singh, son of Sucha Singh. His death sentence was commuted in 1989 by President Ghulam Ishaq Khan on the advice of then Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto."
Krishna once again welcomed Pakistan's backing as he said, "I have seen media reports about release from imprisonment in Pakistan, of Surjeet Singh, son of Sucha Singh. I welcome this decision and further renew our request to the president of Pakistan to release Sarabjit Singh who has been in custody for well over two decades and is serving a death sentence."