We pray for Sarabjit’s soul. It is an unfortunate reality. However, we condemn the revival of jingoistic sentiments. It is disturbing that a loss of life has become another opportunity to revive jingoism. Sarabjit’s case had been there for two decades but the Indian Government had never took any major step for his release and now after his death, the Prime Minister declared him as “the brave son of the nation”. The Indian Government had asked for a mercy petition for Sarabjit but according to his relatives and his advocate, he was innocent. It was a case of “mistaken identity”. The media was also aware of this but they chose to remain silent. And now they have made short documentaries on the “martyr” and are provoking the people of India. Why were they silent? How does these documentaries suddenly erupt, in a matter of a few hours? We also condemn the response from the opposition leaders. Why were they silent earlier?
It is also unacceptable that the Pakistan Government had neglected the security of an Indian prisoner whose trial was still ongoing. There are several unanswered questions like how were the Pakistani prisoners able to attack Sarabjit when the barracks for Pakistani and Indian soldiers were separate? How were weapons allowed in the jail? We request the Pakistani Government to ensure a fair and speedy investigation. We also request them to tighten the security of other prisoners in the jail.
We condemn the jingoistic response from both sides. We think that both the Governments had failed. We do not know the “truth” and we do not want to engage in the “if they would have” debate. There have been lapses on both sides. But what we must realise is that above all this politics, a life has been lost…a life that was possibly “innocent”. This is not a moment to politicise his death and shamefully regard it as “another knot” in the Indo-Pak relations.
The general response among the people of Pakistan is that “justice” has been done as they considered him to be a “terrorist”. To them, we say, his trial was still ongoing. And even if he was “guilty”, this was still an unfortunate incident. The judiciary had the sole right to punish him. The people of India, in contrast, are taking it as an “attack” by Pakistan. Suddenly, Sarabjit has become their brother. They are mocking at the Indian Government and debating if India is “weak” and have against started challenging peace initiatives. To them, we say, Sarabjit was a human being who has died as a victim of nationalist politics on both sides. Unless and until, it is proved that the state had a role in his killing, it is unethical to point fingers at them. Instead of asking for a “War”, ask for “JUSTICE”.