Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front chief Yasin Malik on Sunday asked the Pakistan government not to make any "hasty decision" on Indian death row prisoner Sarabjit Singh in the wake of Afzal Guru's execution.
Addressing a gathering of Kashmiri leaders and activists ahead of funeral prayers in absentia in the Pakistani capital for Afzal, the Kashmiri mass leader said: "I know that some people are demanding that Sarabjit should be hanged. I urge you to make no such demand. That would amount to the same thing as the murder of Guru."
"I ask the government of Pakistan not to make any hasty decision in this regard," he added.
Convicted for his role in the 2001 terrorist attack on the Indian parliament, Afzal was hanged and buried in Delhi's Tihar Jail on Saturday. In the wake of the execution of Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving Mumbai attacker, and Afzal, some Pakistani groups and media commentators have called for the hanging of Sarabjit.
Sarabjit has been on death row in a Pakistani jail since he was convicted for alleged involvement in a string of bomb attacks in Punjab that killed 14 people.
His family says he is a victim of mistaken identity.
Dozens of activists of Kashmiri groups participated in the "ghayabana namaz-e-janaza" for Afzal, held at a ground near the National Press Club in Islamabad, was led by Jamaat-e-Islami leader Ghulam Nabi Nowsheri.
Describing Guru's hanging in Delhi's Tihar Jail on Saturday as a "blot on Indian democracy", Malik along with other leaders contended that the execution would strengthen the movement in Jammu and Kashmir. "Even Guru's (Afzal) family was surprised as it was informed three hours after the hanging. What was the emergency? It’s because polls are coming up in India and the Congress government has been facing lots of scandals," Malik said.
Contending that the hanging had affected Indian law, democracy the Constitution, and the judiciary, Malik said, "There was pride and hatred behind this decision." Malik also condemned the roughing up of Kashmiri students who had gathered in Delhi to protest the hanging on Saturday as well as the curfew imposed in Jammu and Kashmir.
While Malik urged leaders from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) to organise public protests, Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, who was to lead the funeral prayers at 2pm, reached the venue ahead of schedule and left after making a brief speech. Saeed urged the Pakistan government not to maintain silence on the Kashmir issue.
In his speech, PoK "prime minister" Chaudhry Abdul Majid said people in both parts of Kashmir and all religious and political parties were united on the Kashmir issue. "I am not against trade or confidence-building measures but our movement will not stop," he said, while calling for a shutdown in PoK to protest Afzal hanging.
Jamaat-e-Islami leader Abdul Rashid Turabi, while addressing the gathering, claimed a decade of talks and CBMs had produced no results and made the youths realise there was "no option but jihad".
Meanwhile, Malik and other JKLF members on Saturday began a 24-hour hunger strike outside the National Press Club to pressure Indian authorities to hand over the body of Guru, who was hanged inside Tihar jail, to his family.