Tehelka Magazine, Vol 5, Issue 23, Dated June 14, 2008
politics on dead bodies of prisoners’
I am no fool to
have come to India without proper documents, an irate Ansar
Burney tells SHOBHITA NAITHANI
You were deported
because of a ‘16-year-old lookout’ notice against you. Why do you think
the Indian government treated you like this?
know why it happened to me. This is the fault of the Indian government
and not the people of India or its media because they love me a lot.
blame the two governments because neither wants to discuss the issue of
the prisoners are behind bars for 35 to 40 years in respective countries,
what are both the governments doing for them? If Ansar Burney is doing
something good for the illegally and unlawfully confined prisoners, what
is the harm? I am supporting Sarabjit Singh not because he is a terrorist,
but because his case file tells me he is innocent.
Do you think
this was done because both governments are uncomfortable with your proactive
heard from some of my journalist friends in India that Pakistan was also
involved in this and now I can say yes because in the last four days I
have not heard anything from them. I’m sorry to say this but both the
governments don’t don’t believe in humanity. They love to see the dead
bodies of Indian prisoners in Pakistan and Pakistani prisoners in India
because they would like to play their political game on their dead bodies.
You have been
instrumental in the release of Kashmir Singh and have been lobbying for
clemency to Sarabjit. Do you feel betrayed by the Indian government?
I think this is the
fault of just a few people in the Indian government who do not like good
relations between the two countries. So when people tell me that Pakistan
is involved and that India obeys orders from Pakistan, I want to ask why
don’t the two countries free each other’s prisoners? This just goes to
show that this is all a drama and they are both fooling the citizens of
their country. If the Indian government listens to the Pakistani government
so much, right now, who is at a loss internationally? It’s India who is
The home ministry
issued a statement saying you were not deported but “denied entry” on
account of “inadequate documentation”. What is inadequate documentation?
I had the same documents with me that I had when I visited India seven
weeks back. Since they cannot say that Pakistan had asked us to send Burney
back, they have to say something.
fine now that the ministry has apologised for the so-called “inconvenience”
No. No. No. This is
not an apology. If they are saying I had inadequate documents, why are
they apologising? I am a lawyer. I travel all over the world. Am I such
a fool to have come to India without my documents?
Do you wish
to even the score against this humiliation? What do you expect from the
should compensate me. My tickets were worth 2,500 pounds. I want the Indian
government to allocate that money among Pakistani prisoners in Indian
jails so that they can pay their penalty. If they don’t want to give that
money, they should reduce the sentence of the prisoners by two months.
Pakistani newspapers call me an agent of India. India should have respected
me all the more in that case.
Will you continue
to take up the case of Indians languishing in Pakistani jails?
yes. Nobody can stop me. What’s their fault?