New Delhi: In what could be termed as a cruel joke ever played on a bilateral forum, the Pakistan government, after making official announcement of release of Indian prisoner Sarabjit Singh, who is on death row in Pakistan for his alleged involvement in acts of terror in 1990, took a U-turn late night saying that it’s not Sarabjit but another Indian prisoner Surjeet Singh that is to be released.

READ MORE: Pak media condemns Sarabjit flip-flop

In all this hullabaloo, the million dollar question that has raised everyone’s eyebrows is that whether the Surjeet-Sarabjit episode is a genuine mistake or an intentional drama played to divert attention of India especially when the country has got a major breakthrough with the arrest of 26/11 Mumbai terror attack key handler Abu Jundal.

Whatever be the case, but the insensitive name-game drama of the Pakistan’s top office has ended up with shattering all the hopes and callously hurting the sentiments of Sarabjit’s family, who have been moving heaven and earth to secure his release. 

Ironically, the same Presidential spokesperson who has proclaimed that President Asif Ali Zardari has signed the orders of release of Sarabjit, took a U-turn eight hours later on Tuesday saying "I think there is some confusion. First, it is not a case of pardon. More importantly, it is not Sarabjit. It is Surjeet Singh, son of Sucha Singh.”

Sarabjit's family crestfallen, yet not lost hope 

With tears in her eyes, Sarabjit's sister Dalbir Kaur said, "It is difficult for us to believe Sarabjit Singh has not been released. How can I accept that my brother would not come home yet."

"The latest news wherein I was informed that my brother is not released is a cruel joke with the family whose sentiments have been badly hurt," Dalbir, who has made many attempts to release her brother in the past, said.

However, Dalbir said she would not give up her struggle.

"I would never stop my struggle to get my brother released. I would again visit Pakistan to seek appointment with President Asif Ali Zardari to do the needful for the release of my brother since he is innocent".

Kaur says she would meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress President Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi and ask them to to take up the matter with Pakistan Government.

"The Pakistan President is a humble and noble personality and would definitely take up the matter to commute the death sentence of my innocent brother who is languishing in jail for more than 22 years," she said.

Sukhpreet Kaur, wife of Sarabjit Singh said, "My husband must be released as the family has already suffered a lot and is now not in a position to suffer more".

Sarabjit Singh's daughter Poonam said, "If Pakistan had mistakenly announced that her father was being released, it should commit one more mistake and announce the release of her father".
Sonakshi Kishore/JPN/Agencies

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