Pak denies commuting Indian's death sentence

Surjeet Singh, not Sarabjeet, will be released

A Pakistani official has denied an earlier report that the president has ordered the release of an Indian prisoner on death row for more than 20 years for involvement in bomb attacks in eastern Pakistan.

Presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar said Tuesday that President Asif Ali Zardari commuted the death sentence of Sarabjit Singh to life in prison.

Pakistan generally considers a life prison term complete after 14 years, so Singh has served more than enough time.

But Babar denied the news Wednesday, saying a different Indian prisoner, Surjeet Singh, will be released because he has already completed his life term in jail.

His death sentence for spying was commuted in 1989.

The reason for the turnaround is unclear.

Pakistan and India are nuclear-armed rivals, but relations between them have improved in recent years.
 

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