"We are just waiting for a letter/advice from the Home Department for his release. We will release him the same day," the Deputy Superintendent of Lahore Central Jail told Singh's lawyer Awais Sheikh.
Singh was arrested and charged with espionage in Pakistan in 1982. In 1985, a military court convicted and sentenced him to death but the sentence was commuted to life imprisonment in 1988 by then President Ishaq Khan. Surjit Singh completed the life sentence on October 30, 2010 but was not released.
In response to a petition, following clearance from various departments and ministries, including Defence, the Lahore High Court has ordered his release.On April 3, 2012, Awais Sheikh met him in prison, accompanied by the Deputy Superintendent Jail and a CID official. There were prisoners in jail uniform on both sides as they walked towards the room near the Indian prisoners' barracks where a special meeting with Surjit Singh had been arranged, writes Awais Sheikh in an email later that day, sent also to Aman ki Asha.
"I was going to meet a man who spent 30 long years of his life in this jail all alone. He was away from his motherland and his loved ones. I was perhaps the only lawyer in Pakistan who was meeting him in jail as his counsel...
"A tall, healthy, long-bearded man with a smiling face entered the room. 'Ke haal ae Sheikh ji? How are you?' He embraced me. This was Surjit Singh. He was in high spirits. I could guess why he was so happy. Then he said. "Shukria. Tusan badi mehnat keeti. Kal menu Deputy Superintendent ne dasya ke tera kam ho geya ae. (Thank you, you have worked hard. Yesterday the Deputy Superintendent told me that you have been successful)."We talked for an hour on different issues starting from his case, the arrest, his family in India etc... I handed over personal letters of his daughter Parvinder Kaur, gave him some fruit, as well as newspaper clippings about the news of his release orders. He was overwhelmed with the news of his release and kept asking me about the expected date."
Surjit Singh now has a copy of the letter signed by the Deputy Secretary, Government of Pakistan that the Advocate General had presented in the court, admitting that his term of imprisonment is over. The judicial committee that is due to soon meet him in jail must now follow up procedure of his release and ensure that he does not spend a day more in prison.
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
It's all systems go for 'Dividends', the Second Aman ki Asha Indo-Pak Economic Conference, Lahore, May 7-8, 2012Taking forward the 'trade for peace' agend .....more
Dr Mubashir Hasan, a peace activist and a former finance minister during Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto's government, called for broader ties between Pakistan a .....more
Chairman Nestle Pakistan
Of the legalized trade worth $2.2 billion, India's share is 85 percent; if MFN status is given to India, this share will inc .....more
Six hundred. This is the number of trucks, which can cross Pakistan-India border everyday through the new trade gate at Wagah that formally opened las .....more
The richest man in Pakistan wants to see energy pipelines across borders, buy software from India instead of paying '10 times more' to European firms a .....more
"Trade for peace" is the new catchphrase defining the emerging relationship between India and Pakistan - a relationship historically so troubled that, .....more
Page 60 of 174
The News on Sunday Special Report: India Pakistan prisoners more editions
We probably didn't need to do this Special Report. Newspaper stories don't matter when it comes to Indians in Pakistani jails and vice versa. In fact, 'vice versa' sums it up. We do to them what they do to us.
Except when the two countries decide to begin talking, yet again! This time a little before the foreign secretary level talks, some Pakistani prisoners were released by India (and vice versa must have happened) and some more were release....read more
For the past 2 years the Jang Group and Geo have been working on a project of great national interest; one that we hope will help usher in an era of peace and prosperity in the country and indeed, in the region. And one that hopefully all Pakistanis can be proud of. more
The Jang Group has entered into an agreement with the Times of India Group, the largest media group of India, to campaign for peace betw