And a brilliant opportunity for Musharraf
Public opinion in India is a wonderful thing. Pakistan has long sheltered many men wanted for some of the worst acts of terrorism in India — from the leaders of various jihadi outfits to the leaders of terrorist groups responsible for the deaths of hundreds of innocent people in Punjab, Assam and Jammu & Kashmir. That Pakistan continues to deny that they are in Pakistan does not raise the hackles of the Indian public that very much.
Not so for Sarabjit Singh. The Indian people think he is innocent and hence deserves to be sent back home intact. Civil society has organised prayers, parades, rallies and vigils. They are even planning to flood Musharraf inbox. Politicians, sensing the mood of the electorate, have lobbied other politicians. Bollywood stars have thrown in their hats. The Indian foreign minister has already taken up the issue with his counterpart. The prime minister may do so too.
And in the process, Gen Musharraf has been handed a sitter. All he needs to do to become a nice guy in Indian public opinion is to pardon the condemned man.