M A I N   N E W S

‘Save Sarabjit’ campaign gains momentum
Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 24
Dalbir Kaur, who along with her brother Sarabjit Singh’s family threatened to commit suicide, if he was executed by the Pakistan Government, is a more confident and relaxed person today.

Support to save the life of her brother Sarabjit Singh has been pouring in from quarters she least expected.

There is a “Save Sarabjit campaign” going on TV channels and hour after hour there are video clippings of his daughters and wife recalling their plight during the past 15 years of running from pillar to post to save Sarabjit.

Help has poured in from print media, MPs from Punjab and others. Even Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan has extended support to the family. “I hope he is back home at the earliest,” Shah Rukh, who played the role of an IAF officer imprisoned in Pakistan on charges of being a spy in “Veer Zara”, said last evening on the sidelines of a function.

His lawyer has also said a revised mercy petition would be filed for Sarabjit. Now, Dalbir Kaur is confident that there is a hope for her brother.

Today, Dr Begum Fatima Shanaz, an erstwhile Hyderabad royal descendant and a human rights activist, also urged President Pervez Musharraf to stay the execution order and grant mercy to Sarabjit Singh.

In a letter to the Pakistan President, Dr Shahnaz said she herself had been a victim when she was working for peace in New York.

Mistaken as a RAW agent, Sarabjit was charged in a case of serial bomb blasts and sentenced to death as “Manjit Singh” last Friday by the Pakistan Supreme Court.

Dalbir Kaur, who knocked at the doors of the Government of India yesterday with the plea that it should take up her brother’s case with President Pervez Musharraf, had in the past 15 years met several senior leaders in successive state and Central Governments, requesting them to take up her brother’s case with the Pakistan Government.

“ I personally met the then Prime Minister Narasimha Rao, who assured me that he would help us get Sarabjit home. We wrote to almost everyone. At times, our letters were returned without even having been opened,” she said.

“But today, I feel as if the entire country is now with me,” said Dalbir Kaur, who was accompanied by BJP MPs Navjot Sidhu and Avinash Rai Khanna and Akali Dal MPs Ratan Singh Ajnar and S S Dhindsa when she met Mr Natwar Singh yesterday.

Denying that Sarabjit had been involved with RAW in any way, Dalbir Kaur said she urged the government to send the evidence of his innocence to Gen Pervez Musharraf.

“It is a case of mistaken identity. The case is against some Manjit Singh. My brother is innocent and the government should talk to General Musharraf to save him,” Dalbir told The Tribune after she met the External Affairs Minister Natwar Singh yesterday. “He is a poor farmhand who merely strayed into the Pakistani territory on August 28, 1990 in an inebriated condition.

After he went missing we also lodged a missing report with the police. It was only after nine months that we received a letter from him, saying that he had been arrested and that the intelligence agencies were referring to him as Manjit Singh,” said Dalbir Kaur. She has been in regular touch with her brother through letters in the past 15 years. But the last letter she received from her brother was about one-and-a-half-year back. Since then there has been no news from Sarabjit, who she claims has been living in various Pakistani jails in a pitiable condition.

HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |