Lahore: Indian national Sarabjit Singh, on death row in Pakistan, had an emotional reunion with his sister Dalbir Kaur after three years in a prison in this eastern Pakistani city on Thursday.
Kaur, who arrived in Pakistan on June 6 to meet Sarabjit and lobby the Pakistan government for his release, said her brother was affected by "severe tension" and spent most of his time worrying about his fate.
"My wounds were reopened after meeting my brother. He cried and cried a lot, asking me to help prove his innocence," Kaur told PTI after meeting Sarabjit at Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore.
"My brother told me that he is under severe tension because he spends most of his time thinking that he may not get freedom. You see, it's not good to live in solitary confinement. Seeing him in anxiety has made me worried," Kaur said.
She said her worries about his brother had increased because he looked very tense. "You see, tension eats you up. I cried too and my body got cold but it happens in such cases," she said.
Sarabjit has been on death row since he was convicted for alleged involvement in four bomb blasts in 1990 that killed 14 people. The verdict was upheld by the Lahore High Court and the Supreme Court.
His family insists he was wrongly convicted for the bombings. Though Sarabjit was set to be hanged in 2008, Pakistani authorities put off his execution indefinitely after Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani intervened in the matter.
Kaur said Sarabjit is eager to prove his innocence and wants to be with his family. "During our 90-minute meeting, he inquired about his wife, daughters, son-in-law, friends and neighbours. He has not forgotten the name of any of his neighbours or friends. He misses every moment he spent with his family and friends," Kaur said.
Sarabjit wants to tell the judiciary of his innocence and the mistaken identity that led to his conviction. "I will tell the judge that I have done nothing wrong," Kaur quoted Sarabjit as saying.
Kaur said she had a month-long visa for Lahore, and would raise voice at every forum for justice for her brother during her stay in Pakistan. "I will apply for a visa for Islamabad and try to see the President and Prime Minister for my brother's freedom," she said. She said she had urged the Indian government to take up the matter with Pakistan as her brother was not involved in spying or bombings.
Sarabjit's lawyer Awais sheikh said he had appealed to President Asif Ali Zardari to either pardon Sarabjit or to commute his death sentence to life imprisonment.
Acting on a petition filed by Sheikh, Lahore High Court Chief Justice Ijaz Chaudhry permitted Kaur to meet Sarabjit in the prison on Thursday and again on the day of her departure to India.