Controversy over Pak-Indian Prisoners

pBy Sajjad Shaukat

Recently, controversy arose between Pakistan and India over a Pakistani prisoner Sanaullah Haq who received head injuries, as he was badly beaten by a fellow inmate in an Indian jail in the Indian occupied Kashmir in an apparent revenge for an assault on Indian prisoner Sarabjit Singh who was in a Pakistani jail in Lahore, and was attacked by his fellow prisoner. Sarabjit expired due to serious injuries.

However, Pakistan’s Foreign Office summoned Indian Deputy High Commissioner and launched a strong protest against assault on Sanaullah Haq.Pakistani government not only provided best medical treatment to Srabajit, but also suspended the superintendent of the jail, while ordering an investigation into the incident.

As the attack on Sanaullah Haq came a day after the death of Sarabjit Singh, which shows that it was conducted deliberately by an ex-Indian army man who was supported by the Indian concerned officials. While, Pakistan’s top officials and members of the civil society strongly condemned attack on Indian prisoner, Sarabjit and expressed sorrow on his death. But, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh condemned Sarabjit incident, calling it ‘barbaric and murderous attack, but remained silence over Sanaullah. It is another display of New Delhi’s selective morality which Indian rulers employ, while dealing with Islamabad.

Sarabjit Singh was sentenced to death by the Supreme Court of Pakistan for spying and deadly bombings which killed 14 innocent people in Pakistan’s cities of Faisalabad, Multan and Lahore in 1990. But Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari commuted his death sentence into life imprisonment on June 26, 2012.

Last year, Pakistani government released Indian spy, Surjeet Singh who was handed over to the Indian authorities. He was given death sentence in 1991. But President Asif Ali Zardari commuted his death sentence into life imprisonment.

Surjeet openly admitted that he was in Pakistan to spy when he was arrested in 1982. In this regard, he disclosed before Indian reporters that he was sent to Pakistan by Indian secret agency RAW for espionage purposes.

Quite opposite to the admission of Surjeet, on June 29, 2012, Indian Home Secretary RK Singh told a news conference in New Delhi, saying, “We do not accept this that Singh was Indian spy…it is completely wrong.” However, it shows Indian illogical approach as New Delhi denies facts in order to conceal the presence of other Indian spies in Pakistan.

Surjeet Singh also revealed, “Sarabjit Singh is a terrorist and terrorists are not released.” On the other side, Indian External Affairs Minister SM Krishna stated on June 25, 2012 that it was now “time for Sarabjit Singh to be freed.” Like Indian home secretary, even external affairs minister defended the Indian agent. It indicates that Indian high officials are deliberately and officially supporting RAW agents to destabilise Pakistan.

Besides, Indian spy also pointed out, “All Indian prisoners are treated well in Pakistani jails. Sarabjit Singh is also doing well there…I was treated well by prison officials and I am thankful to them.”

While India has arrested hundreds of Pakistan’s citizens, often accusing them of being spies after they have strayed across the land or maritime border due to unconscious mistake. It also includes some tourists who went to India. Quite contrary to the well-treatment of Indian spies in Pakistani jails, RAW and other security agencies employ various techniques of torture on the so-called Pakistan’s suspected persons. Most of the Pakistani nationals have also been killed in Indian jails, while a majority of them have been killed by Indian security agencies in fake encounters.

Nevertheless, both Surjeet Singh and Sarabjit Singh were responsible for the string of blasts in various cities of Pakistan in which several innocent persons were killed. They were also behind other terror-activities in Pakistan.

On June 28, 2012, BBC reported, “in recent years, several Indians returning from Pakistani jails have admitted to spying for Indian intelligence agency RAW” and some have criticised India’s government for abandoning them.”It is mentionable that in April 2011, Gopal Das, one of Pakistan’s longest-serving Indian prisoners, was released after President Asif Ali Zardari intervened in his case.

Upon his release, Das also acknowledged that he was an Indian spy. Similarly, Kashmir Singh, sentenced to death in Pakistan in 1973 for spying, was released in March 2008. Afterwards, he also confessed that he was spying for RAW.

The fact of the matter is that admission of the Indian spies indicates that with the tactical assistance of American CIA and Israeli Mossad, RAW has set up its espionage network in Afghanistan, which is in contact with its spy-network in Pakistan.

In this context, India’s several secret training camps are present in Afghanistan from where highly-trained militants, equipped with sophisticated weapons are being sent to Pakistan’s various places to conduct suicide attacks, target killings, bomb blasts, assaults on civil and military installations, forced abductions and sectarian violence regularly.

Indian RAW, CIA and Mossad have also been supporting the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) and another separatist group, Jundollah (God’s soldiers) which have been committing various subversive acts in the province of Balochistan. The main aim behind to fulfill secret strategic designs of US, India and Israel.

Some Indian Muslims and foreign insurgents who are particularly backed by RAW have joined the ranks and files of the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Sipah-e-Sahaba, BLA and other religious sects. They have also got the membership of MQM, ANP and PPP. Besides killing the leaders and persons of the rival religious parties, and attacking the offices of the political parties so as to sabotage the forthcoming elections, these miscreants also target the Pushtuns, Urdu-speaking people and even the people, belonging to the interior Sindh with the main aim to weaken Pakistan.

Nonetheless, by showing lethargy approach towards Sanaullah Haq, Indian government is making Sarabjit episode as another excuse to put the Pak-Indian peace process on the back-burner. New Delhi has always used some pretext to delay the solution of various issues, especially the Kashmir dispute.

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Affairs



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