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Indo-Pak Prisoners Issue: Forgive The Forgivable

Indo-Pak Prisoners Issue: Forgive The Forgivable

By Tanveer Jafri

The name of Manjit Singh alias ‘Sarabjit’, who is at present in the Pakistan jail, has again become a talk of the town these days. It is well known that an Indian citizen, whom Pakistan government is naming as Sarabjit Singh, where as his relatives are saying that he is their Manjit Singh & not ‘Sarabjit Singh’, has been held responsible by Pakistan government for four bomb blasts at Lahore, Kasoor & Faislabad in 1990. Pakistan government also accuses him for spying for Indian intelligence agency RAW. Because of these allegations, Manjit Singh alias Sarabjit Singh has been in Pakistan jail for the last 16 years & at the same time fighting his case against the above said allegations. The Session Court, The High Court & The Supreme Court in Pakistan has verified his death sentence.

The family members of Manjit Singh alias Sarabjit Singh say that the accused is Sarabjit & not Manjit Singh. Secondly this so called Sarabjit Singh is a simple & gentle member of a Punjab farmer family. As his home is situated on the Indian side of Indo-Pak border, so one day, while driving his tractor in his fields & intoxicated by wine, he crossed the border by mistake & reached in Pakistan. But Pakistan government is rejecting this plea being given by his relatives, says that his relatives are changing his identity to misguide the matter. Last month, a petition was filed in Supreme Court of Pakistan from this Sarabjit to review his death sentence. This review petition has already been rejected by the High Court of Pakistan. Obviously under these circumstances the possibility of his being hanged in the near future is increasing.

During this period, a human rights group in Canada, taking interest in this matter has appointed a famous lawyer Rana Abdul Hamid, to fight this case. Rana Abdul Hamid, in the process of getting him released, has filed a mercy petition before Pakistan president General Parvez Musharraf. He has also appealed to forgive him because he is innocent. In this mercy petition, his lawyer Rana Hamid has said- “In Islam religion, there is a provision to forgive any Non-Muslim. Islam considers the forgiver ‘The Great’.” In this appeal, it has been said that it will make the Indo-Pak relations sweeter. Being president of Pakistan, General Musharraf has the right to forgive him. However, some ministers in Pakistan are giving opposite statements that General Parvez Musharraf can’t release this Sarabjit.

If we have a look on the history of last five decades of India & Pakistan, we see that India & Pakistan were a united country before 1947.In 1947 Pakistan came into existence & often separation Pak was seen as prominent rival. Since 1947, there had been three wars between India & Pakistan. India’s eastern Muslim majority region, which was known as East Pakistan before 1971, got separated from India at the same time. It rose as a new nation & came to be known as Bangladesh. Undoubtedly, India played a crucial role in its getting independence from Pakistan & finding its separate identity. India not only used its forces to make Bangladesh free but it was the first country also to recognize it as an independent country. During this Indo-Pak War of 1971, there was the greatest surrender by any army, in the world when about one lac soldiers of Pak army surrendered themselves before Indian Army. May be that those wounds still sore? There may be a reason that is why Pakistan gave its moral support to Khalistani & Kashmiri movements from time to time & even encouraged them. Although Pakistan has been denying the fact, yet most of the terrorist arrested or killed during acts of terrorism in India, bore the mark of across the boundary.

Well, it is said that let bygones be bygones. In spite of the bitterness prevalent for the last five decades, now it seems that the leadership of both the countries is trying to produce a sweet atmosphere, if not a united India. Pak president General Parvez Musharraf himself believes that so long as Dr. Manmohan Singh is the Prime Minister of India, the relations between the two countries can be more strong & sweeter. But it is very important that all the issues, that concern the general public, must be tried to solve sympathetically & cordially. If trifling issues will be solved in a friendly way, undoubtedly the solution of big problems like Kashmir problem will become easy.

During the period of last one year, both the governments have given a message by releasing the hundreds of prisoners who were in their respective captivity. Such action should be taken in the case of Manjit alias Sarabjit. Although the courts in Pakistan have announced death sentence for Lahore bomb blast, on the basis of evidences produced by the Pak police .Yet decisions against this so called Sarabjit are still lying pending regarding three different cases of bomb blasts in the Punjab province of Pakistan. But reality is that he is not Sarabjit but Manjit. This seems to be a case of mistaken identity. This allegation of government of Pakistan is also baseless that he is a member of Indian Intelligence Organization ‘RAW’. In reality, he is an innocent & simple farmer. A Pakistan citizen, who was a witness against Sarabjit in this case, also has denied his statement. If, for a time being, we set aside all these & accept the allegations implicated, are those 16 years spent in Pak jail are not sufficient for the guilt he is supposed to have committed?

As explained in the mercy petition filed by the lawyer of the accused –‘Islam religion considers the forgiver the great’, so Pak president should forgive the accused along with Kirpal Singh, Gopal Singh & other innocents who are in Pak jails without having committed any crime & show off the liberalism as it is in the Islam. Forgiveness by president Musharraf will awaken regard in the hearts of all Indians & will also prove helpful for creating cordial atmosphere between the two countries. This forgiveness will give a message that Islam is not a religion of fear & terror but love, forgiveness & sympathy, at the time when all around in the world, there are planned efforts to affront Islam as a synonym of terrorism. It will succeed in spreading the message that Islam showers pity, sympathy, love & forgiveness while there is no place for terror, terrorists & terrorism in it. All the Indians & humanitarians in the world believe that president Musharraf will ‘forgive the forgivable (Sarabjit)’ & thus will prove himself a large hearted person & a true follower of the Islam. This will prove him a unique personality with liberal thoughts.


(Author's Introduction)
- Writer Tanveer Jafri is a columnist in india related with more than 100 most popular daily news papers/portals in india and abroad.Almost, he writes in the field of communal harmony, world peace, anti communalism, anti terrorism, national integration, national & international politics etc.He is a devoted social activist for world peace, unity, integrity & brotherhood. He is also a member of Haryana Sahitya Academy & Haryana Urdu Academy (a state govt. bodies in India). More than 1000 articles of the author have been published in different newspapers, websites & newsportals throughout the world. He is also a recipient of so many awards in the field of Communal Harmony & other social activities.

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