Now, Sarabjit's lawyer runs for cover
Taliban scare: Protection sought after receiving threatening calls
Sarabjit Singh’s Pakistani lawyer Awais Sheikh on Friday sought protection from the human rights commission after receiving threat calls and a letter from suspected Taliban operatives.
According to Sheikh, people intimidating him might have orchestrated the attack on his client in Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat jail. Speaking to Deccan Herald over the phone, Sheikh recollected his last meeting with Sarabjit in February, where the Indian prisoner had talked about threats to his life. He claims to have entered the bad books of certain hostile elements for assisting Sarabjit’s family during their visit to Pakistan.
“After the family returned to India, some unknown persons chased me and tried to kidnap me, but somehow I escaped,” Sheikh said. He has been persuading the human rights commission to write to the Punjab government to provide him security.
Recounting his interaction with Sarabjit, Sheikh said: “An intelligence officer was present at the meeting with Sarabjit in jail. Sarabjit gave the name of an inmate to the CID officer. The inmate was threatening him with dire consequences after Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru’s hanging. He requested the intelligence officer to inform the jail superintendent.”
Sheikh said the jail authorities failed to protect Sarabjit despite being aware of the threat to his life. He alleged that a person named Ali, who used to visit the inmates accused of assaulting Sarabjit in jail, had terrorist connections.
He also shared a letter he wrote to the home secretary of Punjab province on April 21, six days before the murderous assault on Sarabjit, requesting that his client be provided with “one band radio, a small TV, usage of books and access to jail library” on humanitarian grounds, in view of his “excellent record in jail.”
Sheikh condemns attack
Sheikh also condemned the attack on Pakistani prisoner Sanaullah in a Jammu jail. He said the conspirators behind the assault on Sarabjit have succeeded in their design to create animosity between the people of the two nations. He also expressed a desire to testify before the judicial commission announced by the Pakistani government to investigate into Sarabjit’s death. The lawyer prefers being identified as a “peace ambassador” for “Pak-India peace initiative.”