'Pak's indifference impeding prisoner release'

'Pak's indifference impeding prisoner release'

The Union government has informed the Punjab and Haryana High Court that its efforts to secure the release of Indian prisoner Nanak Singh, who is languishing in a Pakistan jail for the past 33 years, is making no headway in the wake of Pakistan’s indifferent attitude in the case.

Taking the response filed by the Centre on record, the court deferred the case for the next hearing on May 8. The government stated that despite taking up the case several times, Pakistan hasn’t shown interest, which was impeding the Indian prisoners release even after several decades.

The death verdict handed out to a former Indian Navy officer, Kulbhushan Jadhav by a Pakistani military court also has created serious doubts about Nanak Singh’s release.

Singh’s destiny came a cropper one an ill-fated day in 1984. Singh was seven years old when he accidentally strayed into Pakistan with cattle through the fields. He was caught by the Pakistan rangers. Now in his 40s, Singh is still behind the bars in the hostile nation.

Fear in family

The escalating strain in the relations between the two countries following the death verdict given by the Pakistan military court to Jadhav has brought back fears in Nanak’s family in Punjab.

His father Rattan Singh fears that Singh’s release may be inordinately delayed in the present circumstances. The father is even scared that his son might meet the same fate as Indian prisoner Sarabjit Singh, who was brutally murdered in Pakistan when there was growing hope for his return to motherland.

In 1999, Singh’s family was informed that he was lodged in the Pakistan jail, but under a different name as Kakar Singh. That is what has been causing, perhaps, a deliberate confusion from Pakistan’s side all these years.

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