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SC surprised over delay in Shafqat’s execution

Shafqat has had his execution postponed for a fourth time.

By (Online)

Published: Thu 11 Jun 2015, 12:46 AM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jul 2015, 2:56 PM

Islamabad — Adjourning hearing of appeal plea against capital punishment of death row convict Shafqat Hussain till Wednesday, the Supreme Court has sought details whether “this death row prisoner is alive or has been executed”.

Shafqat has had his execution postponed for a fourth time.

Expressing his astonishment, Chief Justice Nasirul Mulk remarked that the court had issued no orders for stopping execution then why the execution of this death row prisoner has been stopped.

The CJ asked this question from Dr Tariq, counsel for death convict Shafqat. The counsel for Shafqat Hussain told the three-member bench led by the CJ that it was not even in his knowledge who has stopped his execution and he has come to know about it only through newspapers.

The chief justice remarked, “Provide us information if the petitioner, death row convict, is alive or has been hanged.”

The counsel said that “the details about stopping his execution have not come to fore, however, Shafqat was to be executed in the morning on June 9.

The court remarked, “Tell us on Wednesday whether he has been executed or otherwise and after that next hearing will be held”. Execution of death row convict Shafqat Hussain was postponed once again on Tuesday. He was to be hanged early in the morning in Karachi jail and the jail authorities had made all preparations for his hanging but at the last moment orders for postponing the execution were received by the jail authorities.

Shafqat had kidnapped a 7-year-old child Umair from Karachi’s area of New Town in 2001 and later killed him. The Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) had awarded him death sentence in 2004.

His execution was put off three previous times after intense outcry by some non-governmental organisations.

Shafqat’s is the most high-profile execution case since the government lifted a moratorium on the death penalty.

 In January, Minister of the Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said he was postponing the execution to allow officials to investigate Hussain’s age. On Tuesday, speaking to parliament, the minister said earlier police and jail reports had put his age at 23 or 25 at the time of the arrest but said officials were still trying to determine his age. — Online

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