Indians have expressed outrage at the Pakistan government over the death of a convicted Indian spy who was attacked with a brick by two fellow inmates at a Pakistan prison. New Delhi said the development damaged relations between the long-time rival countries.
Sarabjit Singh was attacked last Friday and had been comatose and on a ventilator for days before he died at Jinnah Hospital in the eastern city of Lahore, according to the Pakistani foreign office.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called it "particularly regrettable" that Pakistan had not heeded pleas to take a humanitarian view of the prisoner's case and allow him to return after he had served 20 years in prison.
Singh was arrested in 1990 after bombings in Lahore and Faisalabad, Pakistan, that killed 14 people. He was convicted of spying and carrying out the bomb blasts, and the death sentence he received was upheld in Pakistani superior courts.
His family maintained Singh was innocent and had entered Pakistan inadvertently from his hometown of Bhikiwind in northern Punjab state bordering Pakistan.
Zulifqar Hameed, a senior Pakistani police investigator, said police are still determining whether to bring murder charges against the two men who attacked Singh and are questioning them to determine their motive.
Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said that ties "have been hurt by this terrible tragedy." He added: "For the present, I can only say that it is a terrible psychological and emotional setback to all of us and I believe to what we have been trying to do in terms of creating greater cohesion between people of India and people of Pakistan."
Rajnath Singh, president of the main opposition Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, demanded that India scale down the level of diplomatic ties with Pakistan.
Singh's sister Dalbir Kaur, who visited him in the Lahore hospital early this week, said she had asked the Indian government to seek tighter security for Singh after New Delhi hanged Mohammed Afzal Guru, a Kashmiri man, in February. Singh had feared being attacked by other inmates, she said.
External Affairs Ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin said India is demanding a thorough investigation of the attack.