H.E. The Pakistan High Commissioner to India
Janab Salman Bashir Saheb
I request you to convey my following message to H.E. The President of Pakistan and H.E. The Prime Minister of Pakistan :
You must have heard that Ajmal Kasab has been hanged in India. I wish to respectfully point out to you that his case is totally different from that of Sarabjit Singh who has been on death row in Pakistan for 21 years in connection with the Lahore bomb blast in 1990 which killed 14 persons.
About Kasab there is no doubt about his guilt, as he was caught red handed. However, there is grave doubt about the guilt of Sarabjit Singh. So the two cases are not similar.
No doubt your Courts have convicted Sarabjit, but I have carefully perused the evidence in his case and have found serious flaws in the prosecution version. His name was not even in the First Information Report. The main prosecution witness Shaukat Salim later retracted his statement and said it was given under police pressure. As regards his alleged 'confession', we all know how 'confessions are obtained in both our countries (by third degree methods ). Sarabjit's own version was that he had gone illegally to Pakistan for doing illegal liquor trade, and was arrested there and later falsely implicated in the bomb blast case.
Be that as it may, he has already spent over 21 years on death row, where one does not know when he may be hanged. This is enough to drive any one mad. I sincerely urge you to show mercy and excercise your power of pardon in his case.
In my previous 4 letters to you pleading for his pardon I have quoted Portia's speech on mercy in Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice and the poem of the great Urdu poet Faiz.
I earnestly request you once again to pardon him and send him back to India
Justice Markandey Katju
(Chairman, Press Council of India
Former Judge, Supreme Court of India )
Response of H.E. The Pakistan Ambassador to India
Thank you Justice Katju. Your message will be forwarded to Islamabad.