Lahore/Islamabad: A four-member panel of Pakistani medical experts supervising the treatment of Indian death row convict Sarabjit Singh on Monday refused the plea of family of shifting him abroad for treatment.

With doctors in Lahore hospital saying that chances of survival of Indian death row prisoner Sarabjit Singh were ‘slim’, the four-member panel on Monday was asked to decide whether he should be sent abroad for treatment. Dismissing family’s demand, the panel decided not to send Sarabjit abroad.

The panel headed by Mehmood Shaukat was directed by the government to decide whether 49-year-old Sarabjit should be sent abroad or foreign neurosurgeons should be called to Pakistan to treat him, Geo News channel reported.

The panel of experts examined Sarabjit again on Monday and studied the results of tests done on him so far, including two CT scans. There was no official word on the development.

Family pleads for help

On Sunday, Sarabjit's family arrived in Lahore city of Pakistan from Amritsar and pleaded for help from the Indian government. Sarabjit's sister Dalbir Kaur, wife Sukhpreet Kaur and daughters Swapandeep and Poonam, visited him at the hospital after arriving.
 
"When we met him in the ICU, he was just lying there. Doctors told us that his condition was critical. Please help us to save my brother's life," Sarabjit's elder sister Dalbir Kaur said in Lahore.

"Sarabjit Singh's face is swollen, he was beaten with iron rods... He is unconscious, in a very critical condition..." Dalbir Kaur added.  



Sarabjit's wife Sukhpreet has appealed to Pakistani authorities to send her husband back to India for better treatment.

Doctors at the hospital said that Sarabjit's condition was ‘critical’ and ‘chances of his survival are slim’.

"His daughters called him out 'Papa'. His wife called out to him. But he lay there like a stone. I could not understand what to say," said Dalbir Kaur.

"I plead to our government with folded hands. Please take him to any country for his treatment. Don't waste time, save him. So far, when I tried to fight for his freedom, I only got hollow assurances," she said.

"He is completely unconscious. He does not know anything. He is on ventilator," Dalbir Kaur said, adding that she could feel his breath and heart beat.

Sarabjit suffered critical head injuries in the assault by four to five prisoners with bricks and prison plates in Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore on Friday. He has been in Pakistan jail for over 22 years.

Sarabjit shows no sign of recovery

There has been ‘no sign’ of recovery or improvement in his condition, the doctors were quoted as saying by sources. The doctors believe Sarabjit's chances of survival are ‘slim’ as he sustained injuries over a widespread area of his head that led to unconsciousness.
    
Indian High Commission officials on Sunday visited Sarabjit for the second time in as many days after permission was granted by Pakistani authorities following an initial denial.
    
"The officials visited Singh in the Lahore hospital. His condition remains unchanged," a spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs said.
    
Sarabjit was convicted by a Pakistani court for alleged involvement in the bombings in Punjab that killed 14 people.
    
Sarabjit's family says he is the victim of mistaken identity and had inadvertently strayed across the border in an inebriated state.

(JPN/Agencies)

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