The U-turn made by Pakistan on Sarabjit Singh’s release has disappointed India a great deal. The reaction was expected as Sarabjit’s release was being anticipated by India for a very long time. Pakistan’s decision to release Surjeet Singh in place of Sarabjit has however been welcomed by all but it is to be noted that he had been given clemency at the time when Benazir Bhutto was the Prime Minister of Pakistan. Notably, Surjeet had already served life term and the Lahore High Court had ordered his release. Why did Pakistan create an atmosphere where people were forced to think that Sarabjit was supposedly pardoned? Why did Pakistan take eight hours to clarify on Sarabjit? The news of Sarabjit’s release was telecast on every Pakistani news channel along with India. The news brought much needed relief to Sarabjit’s family and people across the country. It was believed that Pakistan has finally taken the right step but that soon turned into despair.

Pinning blame on the media for the confusion over Sarabjit’s release will not do. Even if we believe it then why wasn’t action taken immediately? Was the incident worth ignoring especially at the time when Sarabjit is the centre of attention not only for India and Pakistan but foreign media as well. No proper explanation was given on Sarabjit which forces us to believe that Pakistan buckled under some external pressure. This could be due to the army or even the ISI. The pressure could also have come from the terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba. Such reasons are being discussed in hushed tones across Pakistan. It is to be noted that that Lashkar-e-Taiba has been opposing Sarabjit’s release. Pakistan has lost an opportunity to impress upon its neighbour. Such instances will not instill faith for Pakistan in the minds of the people of India. No matter what explanation Pakistan gives, the fact is that the Indian people feel cheated.