Late Indian prisoner Sarabjit’s lawyer Awais Sheikh dies in Sweden

AMRITSAR: Pakistani advocate , who had contested late Indian prisoner Singh’s case in court, died in on Monday morning. Speaking to TOI over phone from Sweden, Awais Sheikh’s son Shahruk Sheikh said that his father was feeling restlessness and was admitted in a hospital where he breathed his last.
“Doctors are still conducting autopsy upon my father and only then exact cause of his death will be known,” Shahrukh said, adding that a day before his father had followed a normal routine.

According to his twitter bio, Sheikh was “Global peace ambassador, counsel of Indian prisoners, president Pak-India Peace Initiatives, and author Samjhota Express, Journey to the Land of Peace”.

Sheikh had not only contested legal case of Sarabjit but also spearheaded Save Sarabjit campaign in Pakistan. His first meeting with the family members of Sarabjit was on December 10, 2008, during a function held at Amritsar.

Recalling his first meeting with the Indian prisoner, Sheikh had said, “When I first met in Kot Lakhpat jail in 2009, I couldn’t believe my eyes that this man has been behind bars for past 19 years and I asked the accompanying jail staff ‘Is it Sarabjit Singh’.”

He remembered that Sarabjit’s cell had a fan, an exhaust fan, a kerosene stove, some utensils, a mattress and a pillow. He had told TOI that he gave some money to Sarabjit and told him that he would take him out with him one day.

After death of Sarabjit Singh in Pakistan’s jail on May 2, 2013, following a murderous attack on him by two fellow inmates on April 26, 2013 , Sheikh had said that he had was receiving death threats by fundamentalists in Pakistan who believed him to be trying to help “an Indian spy”.

A few months after Sarabjit’s death, Sheikh and his son were reportedly abducted from outskirts of Lahore. He had told TOI that after kidnapping both of them, the kidnapers finally dumped them near the highway. Later, he took asylum in Sweden with his family.

Reacting on Awais Sheikh’s death, late Sarabjit Singh’s sister Dalbir Kaur said that his death was an irreparable loss. “Just few hours before he was taken to hospital, he was talking to me and wanted to visit India and visit tomb of Sarabjit Singh at his native village Bhikhiwind,” she said.

In the brief conversation, Shahrukh said he would continue his father’s legacy of working to protect human rights. “This is all I can say for now” said he.

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