Denied Visas, Sarabjit’s Family On Hunger Strike


Staff member

Chandigarh April 16:
The family of Sarabjit Singh, on death row in Pakistan, has decided to go on an indefinite hunger strike following that country’s refusal to grant them visas.
Sarabjit was earlier scheduled to be hanged on April 1. But the Pakistan authorities had deferred his hanging till April 30. His family had hoped that it could go to Pakistan, see Sarabjit in person and request the authorities for clemency. But they were informed that the visa could not be granted as they did not have an invitation from any person in Pakistan.
The family had applied for visas on April 9 in a last-ditch effort to save the life of Sarabjit. The applicants included his sister Dalbit Kaur, wife Sukhpreet Kaur and his two daughters Swapandeep and Poonam Kaur and brother-in-law Baldev Singh. Dalbir Kaur said the family had planned to call on Pakistan Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani and co-chairman of Pakistan People’s Party Asif Ali Zardari, besides offering prayers at Nankana Sahib and Panja Sahib and, if possible, meet Sarabjit in jail.
She said Pakistan’s former human rights minister Ansar Burney had been informed about the development and the family had requested him to arrange for an invite “if that could help us getting the visas, otherwise the family would go on indefinite fast as a mark of respect for Sarabjit Singh”.
She said the family will also approach the ministry of external affairs and seek its intervention in getting a visa and taking up his case afresh. Sarabjit’s hanging was stayed after the Indian government intervened last month to get a grace period.