Islamabad, March 27 (IANS) In yet another sign of warming sub-continental ties, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari Sunday remitted the remaining jail term of an Indian languishing in a jail for the past 27 years.
Farhatullah Babar, spokesperson to the president, said the remission to the Indian convict, Gopal Das, was granted on the advice of Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani to honour the appeal of the Indian Supreme Court to the Pakistani government, Dawn reported.
Babar said several Indian newspapers had recently reported that the Indian Supreme Court had appealed to the Pakistani government to consider granting remission to Gopal Dass on humanitarian grounds and to free him.
The Indian court had made the appeal two weeks ago while disposing a writ petition filed by Gopal Dass through his brother.
The Supreme Court observed: “We cannot give any direction to Pakistani authorities because we have no jurisdiction over them. The Indian authorities have done all that they could in the matter.
“However, that does not prevent us from making a request to the Pakistani authorities to consider the appeal of the petitioner for releasing him on humanitarian grounds by remitting the remaining part of his sentence.”
Babar said Gopal Dass was sentenced to life in June 1987 and was set to be released by the end of this year.
He added that acting on the advice of the prime minister, the president remitted the remaining jail term of Dass.
Babar said the president signed the relevant remission document early Sunday after it was decided that Gilani will visit Mohali to witness the India-Pakistan cricket World Cup semifinal at the invitation of his Indian counerpart, Manmohan Singh.