LAHORE, May 2: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan on Thursday demanded action against all those who played any part in the assault on Indian prisoner Sarabjit Singh, who died in a hospital on Wednesday.

The HRCP called upon both Islamabad and New Delhi to take urgent measures to prevent the incident from undermining bilateral ties and to improve the lot of foreign detainees in each other’s prisons.

In a press statement, the Commission said: “Not even the most naïve person can believe that a prisoner like Sarabjit in a death cell inside a jail can be targeted in such a brutal assault by prisoners without the knowledge and support of prison guards and the authorities.”

It said that was far more serious a crime than allowing someone like Gen Pervez Musharraf (retired) to escape from court.

“It was no secret that Sarabjit faced more threats than other prisoners on account of the charge that he was convicted of and yet his security was so completely compromised. He died when members of the joint Pak-India Judges Committee were visiting Pakistan in order to assess the conditions of detention of Indian prisoners in Pakistani jails,” the commission said.

The HRCP said the incident was a matter of shame for the jingoists and intolerant elements on both sides of the border.

It expressed its concern that Sarabjit’s death might undermine the hard work done by both countries to normalise relations.

“They (the two countries) will have to go out of their way to undo the damage that the murder and the manner that it took place in has done.

The need to expeditiously conclude a judicial inquiry to bring all those who are involved to justice cannot be stressed enough. If the two countries begin to treat each other’s prisoners with some compassion even now instead of exposing them to the worst of treatment reserved for prisoners in their jails, then some good would still have come from Sarabjit’s brutal murder.”

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