|I went to Pakistan to spy, confesses Surjeet Singh|
28 June 2012
LAHORE: Speaking to Indian media just minutes after he crossed the Wagah Border into India, Surjeet Singh confessed to his offense, saying that he went to Pakistan for spying, Express News reported on Thursday.
After the Ministry of Law and Justice approved his release on Tuesday, life sentence prisoner Surjeet Singh crossed the Wagah Border, and after 27 years, stepped on his native soil just a few minutes prior to this confession of being guilty.
Family and friends rushed to greet Sigh as he reached India.
Speaking to the media on the Pakistani side of the Wagah Border, Singh, now over 60 years old, said that both sides should release prisoners.
“India should release Pakistani prisoners and Pakistan should release Indian prisoners, that is all I want to say,” he said in Punjabi.
Upon being asked as to whether he would ever come back to Pakistan, he said, “I don’t want to come back to Pakistan.”
When asked whether he did not want to come back because he did not like the country, Singh dispelled the notion saying he actually did like the country but said that was not the reason.
“I was accused of being a spy,” he said. “If I come back, agencies will have doubts that I am here to spy again, that is why I will not come back.”
He said that he was grateful for the way Pakistanis treated him.
Waiting on the other side of the border, in anticipation of his father’s return, Singh’s son said that he wished Sarabjeet was being released too.
“Both of them coming back together would be even better,” he said. “Sarabjeet’s family would also be as happy as we are.”
When asked what the first thing the family would do after his father’s return, he said, “We will go straight to Harmandir Sahib (the Golden Temple) and pay our respects.”
“After that, we will go home and celebrate,” he added.
Singh was arrested by Pakistani police on charges of spying during former President Ziaul Haq’s regime and was awarded the death sentence by a court in 1985.
Later in 1989, his punishment was commuted to life imprisonment by former president Ghulam Ishaq Khan as part of a general order to commute all death sentences awarded during the military regime.
On Tuesday night, President Asif Ali Zardari ordered for Singh’s release as a goodwill gesture. The convict has already completed his stipulated punishment.
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