Sarabjit, the Innocent Prisoner : Deserted By Luck, Deserted By The Indian Government

Miracles do happen, but for that we need to be lucky enough. Actually, luck played a game with Sarabjit right from the beginning. It was a border village, he strayed into Pakistan and was caught. He was charged with being the main accused in a bomb blast. When Sarabjit was in Pakistan, whether he is there, even his family members did not know. Pakistani newspapers do not come to India, in fact it can be said that news from there cannot cover even a distance of 30 kilometers. There is a distance of 25 to 30 kilometers between Sarabjit’s house and Lahore, how astonishing! For years, the news could not reach Sarabjit’s family that he was imprisoned in a jail 30 kilometers away and there was a charge of a bomb blast against him. Sarabjit was identified by the name of Manjit Singh in Pakistan, he was put on trial and punishment was pronounced, in this case of mistaken identity. We are calling this a game of luck, but after this began the game of Governments.
Sarabjit’s case continued in the courts of Pakistan, and the lawyer appointed by the court on behalf of Sarabjit, who had to plead the defense on his behalf, did not ever appear in Sarbjit’s case in the court. Sarbjit’s lawyer did not uphold the prestige of his profession and he did not proffer any argument  even if false  in any court in Pakistan. Three years ago, when a lawyer of Pakistan  Owais Sheikh  realized from a humane angle that an individual was being wrongly convicted, he decided to fight the case. He sent an application to the Ministry of Home Affairs, seeking permission to fight the case but what is surprising is that the Ministry of Home Affairs and the court did not give permission to Owais Sheikh to fight Sarabjit’s case. After a prolonged fight Owais Sheikh got permission to become Sarabjit’s advocate and this watchdog of humanitarianism fought Sarabjit’s case partly with the estimated aim that the world should know about those hidden realities which should have come to the fore much earlier. In fact, it was then that the story of Sarabjit came before the world ,thanks to Owais Sheikh. Public opinion in India built up for Sarabjit. Many of our people are imprisoned in Pakistan, yet we do not say that they should be released. But for Sarabjit, just one prayer was emanating continuously from most people in the country  that he should be released. And that is why hope arose that perhaps Sarabjit may be released.

I am not calling the Government of India coward and weak, but now my mind and heart are refusing to accept this Government representing 120 crores of people. It seems to me that the Government can neither protect its citizens within the country nor outside the country.

Pakistan’s Human rights activist Ansar Burney did one more injustice to Sarabjit. He spread the impression all over the world that he is looking after Sarabjit’s case, whereas Ansar Burney has not given even an hour to Sarabjit’s case. He has never met him, he has not seen any documents or papers related to him, and neither has he appeared in any court on his behalf, but he publicized his own name all over the world. Perhaps many human rights activists take the name of human rights to abuse human rights.
When Kasab was hanged in India followed by Afzal Guru’s hanging, then it was clear before almost everyone in India that one day they would read the news in the morning that Sarabjit has been hanged. But actually the Pakistani Government worked shrewdly and cleverly. It did not hang Sarabjit, certainly, but inside it quietly wove its moves and as a result Sarabjit has been sent to gallows in a dramatic and unbelievable way. The place where Sarabjit was imprisoned is a part of the execution cell where nobody else can go except those who serve food. According to the rules, a death-row prisoner in the execution cell, though he may have been given the sentence to be executed, cannot talk to other prisoners. But the amazing thing is that two prisoners should enter that cell from where Sarabjit was taken out. Another prisoner came out with him, who was sent to his cell and those two Pakistani prisoners attacked Sarabjit.
The actuality is that in a death row cell, there is no such thing through which or with which suicide can be committed. So much so that not even a piece of glass is kept there, but those who assaulted Sarabjit ‘organized’ a rod there, ‘managed’ a blade and tried to cut every part of Sarabjit. This cannot happen without the collusion of prison officials. My sources in Pakistan told me that two people used to frequently visit those two prisoners on death row. Who were those two people? They were not family members of those prisoners. We cannot say that they were people of ISI or they could have been from some other agency of Pakistan, but most certainly, those people were part of the well considered design of a conspiracy. Sarabjit did not hang (officially), but he was made to hang. Perhaps there are few such unfortunate and unlucky persons in this world as Sarabjit, who left his home and thereafter was in jail permanently. His death is also a mirror of his ill luck. None of Sarabjit’s body parts were working. According to my news, oxygen was meaningfully being used to try and bring him into the world.
Sarabjit’s lawyer, Owais Sheikh, came to India five months ago and game me a long interview, in which he revealed the conditions under which Sarabjit’s trial got underway, how he became Sarabjit’s lawyer and how he fought a case where there was no hope from the very beginning. The reason for no hope was not that he was a weak lawyer, but the way judicial proceedings were going on, it seemed from the first day itself that Sarabjit would be made a pawn in politics. And because of the way people in India are talking about him, the Pakistan Government would use him for ‘negotiation’ in some way. But perhaps the secret agencies of Pakistan felt that now Sarabjit could not be utilized for ‘negotiation’ so they executed a plan to ‘eliminate’ him from the world.
Sarabjit has two young children, of whom one daughter has not even ever met him. Sarabjit’s sister fought continuously for him. Sarabjit’s wife is speechless, she cannot even show her tears to anyone. But what has happened to the Government of India ? What is the reason of its silence?
Is India so helpless that whoever comes can slap twice and after having a say just leave? Whether it is Bangladesh, whether it is Burma, so much so that even if it is Nepal or Pakistan, anyone can show their eyes to the Indian Government. The case of China is before us right now, it is inside our border. After two Indians were beheaded, there was a clam our of voices from all over the country. The Bharatiya Janata Party’s voice was also raised and it said that Pakistan should be attacked, but such a matter of regret! At that time, our Indian Government, putting aside all such demands, was giving a lavish party and feast of biryani to Pakistan’s Prime Minister. There is no harm in partying or feasting, but one should also make one’s point firmly and forcefully. India’s political parties and the same ‘enthusiastic’ people who were talking of attacking Pakistan are now standing silent before China, and not even one voice is saying that the Chinese army should be driven out of India’s border. Mulayam Singh Yadav’s voice came that the Army is ready, but the Government is silent like cowards. I am not calling the Government cowardly and weak, but now my mind and heart are refusing to accept this Government representing 120 crores of people. It seems to me that the Government can neither protect its citizens within the country nor outside the country. Our boatmen and naval ships are held hostages for months by Somalian pirates and asking for money, they say that if money is not given, we will kill the hostages. In such a situation, to free them, it is not Indian citizens but the citizens of Pakistan who collect donations and our Government is not ashamed of the fact that the lives of our countrymen were saved due to donations collected by the citizens of Pakistan.
Sarbajit must have come to understand before the attack that the Government of India cannot do anything for him, which is why he wrote a letter to his family saying that he is being given slow poison. He also wrote a letter to Sonia Gandhi, of which I have a copy. He had written in that letter that he is being given slow poison, but his handwritten letter must have got lost somewhere in the deluge of letters to Sonia Gandhi. We are certainly a 120 crore strong people, but the amazing and surprising thing is that we cannot protect the lives of our people and the honor of our country. The question arises : who is responsible for this ? The Prime Minister, the Foreign Minister or the entire Parliament? An example is of only one person and at this time Sarabjit is not just one person, but in the minds and hearts of 120 crores of people, he is an Indian with an innocent image who was a prisoner in Pakistan.. The Government of India could not even decide till these lines were written whether it should send eminent doctors to Lahore and conduct a medical checkup of Sarabjit. The medical system of Pakistan is so ‘glorious’ that even the people there do not rely or have faith in it, and neither does anybody get themselves treated there. People from the middle class come to India and rich go to London or America. It is in that Pakistan that Sarabjit was being treated and doctors were saying that the need is not for medicines or drugs but for prayers, so pray. The doctors had lost the battle much before Sarabjit.The same doctors who were saying this did not take any meaningful step to treat Sarabjit after he was brought to hospital and said that they would not start any treatment unless and until Sarabjit’s condition improves. The question here is, if Sarabjit’s condition could improve on its own, what was the need of doctors then ? But statements were coming and amongst those statements, a life was gradually lost.. leaving behind unanswered questions of the government and regret and remorse of the common man.


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