An Indian national on death row in Pakistan who was attacked by fellow inmates armed with bricks has been put on a ventilator as he fights for his life.
Sarbajit Singh, who was sentenced to death 16 years ago on espionage charges, was rushed to hospital on Friday with multiple wounds, including a severe head injury, after an argument in Lahore's Kot Lakhpat Jail.
"Singh's condition is critical with multiple wounds on his head, abdomen, jaws and other body parts, and he has been put on ventilator," a senior doctor in Lahore's Jinnah hospital told AFP on Saturday on condition of anonymity.
Sigh is fighting for his life in the hospital's intensive care unit(ICU), and the next 24 hours are critical, the doctor said, adding that the head injury was "quite severe".
"He needs surgery but the doctors are not performing it because they don't want to take any chances and want him to stabilise," he said.
Singh was hit with bricks and other blunt objects by two inmates, a police officer investigating the case said, identifying the suspects only by single names Aamir and Mudasir.
The attack on Singh was front-page news in Indian newspapers on Saturday, with Indian television stations running frequent updates on his condition and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh describing it as a "very sad incident", according to the Press Trust of India.
Singh was arrested following a bombing in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore in 1990 in which 14 people were killed.
He was sentenced to death after being convicted by a Pakistani court on spying charges. His family has previously filed mercy petitions to Pakistani authorities seeking Singh's release.
Pakistan maintains he was an Indian spy, but Singh's family say he is a farmer who accidentally crossed the border into Pakistan while drunk.