President Zardari remits jail term of Indian convict

Islamabad: President Asif Ali Zardari Sunday morning remitted the remaining jail sentence of Indian convict Gopal Das detained in jail for the past 27 years on humanitarian grounds.Spokesperson to the President Farhatullah Babar said that the remission was granted on the advice of the Prime Minister to honour the appeal of the Supreme Court of India to the Government of Pakistan.He said that several Indian newspapers recently reported that in an unusual step the Supreme Court of India appealed to Pakistan to consider granting remission to Gopal Das on humanitarian ground and to release him. About two weeks ago the Indian Supreme Court made the appeal while disposing of a writ petition filed by the convict Gopal Das through his brother.The bench comprising of Justice Markandey and Justice Gyan Sudha had observed “We cannot give any direction to Pakistan 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 ground by remitting the remaining path of his sentence.”Farhatullah Babar said that according to official record, the convicted prisoner Gopal Das S/o Behari Lal was sentenced to life imprisonment in June, 1987 and was set to be released by the end of this year under the law.

The Spokesperson said that acting on the advice of the Prime Minister based on the appeal of the Supreme Court of India, the President today remitted the remaining term in jail of Gopal Das.Farhatullah Babar said that the President signed the remission advice in the wee hours of Sunday soon after the invitation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was accepted and it was decided that Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani will proceed to Mohali to witness the semi final cricket match between the teams of the two countries.It may be mentioned that Interior Secretaries of Pakistan and India will meet Monday-first in the series of dialogue taking place under the umbrella of revived full spectrum dialogue between the two countries. – Onlinenews