LAHORE: A convict on death row was hanged in Mianwali Jail on Thursday, for the first time in the tenure of the current Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) government.
Muhammad Hussain, a soldier of the army and resident of Langarwala Pul of Sahiwal Tehsil Sargodha District, had killed his senior officer Havaldar Khadim Hussain in 2008 when they were on leave.
After the formal issuance of the death warrant, the convict was executed on Thursday at 6:30am in Mianwali Jail’s Phansi Ghat (place of hanging).
Serving officer of Pakistan Army Colonel Nisar, Jail Superintendent Qazi Muhammad Aslam, Deputy Superintendent Muhammad Mansha, Magistrate Ilyas Rehan, Jail Doctor Muhammad Umer and other concerned officials were also present during the execution, jail officials told The Express Tribune.
Jan Masih, who hanged the convicted man, had reached Mianwali Jail from Kot Lakhpat Jail Lahore, the officials added.
All the concerned officials reached the jail at 5:30am to complete the legal formalities as well as to prepare for the execution before sunrise.
The dead body of the convict was handed over to his heirs.
There had been a de facto moratorium on executions since the PPP returned to power in 2008. Every three months the presidency issued a letter through respective home departments, staying all executions.
The home departments then issue instructions to provincial prisons department chiefs. It made Pakistan one of 36 countries in the world observing a moratorium on the death penalty.
Pakistan has one of the largest populations of condemned prisoners and inmates on death row in the world – 7,164 according to official prison records, and over 8,000 according to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.
Proceedings to court martial Hussain were initiated and he was tried in the military court in Okara Cantonment , which sentenced him to death on February 12, 2009, Deputy Superintendent (DSP) of Mianwali Jail, Muhammad Mansha told The Express Tribune.
Hussain had subsequently filed mercy petitions to the General Headquarters (GHQ) and the Chief of Army Staff, but they were rejected.
He also filed a mercy petition to President Asif Ali Zardari, but that was rejected too on December 30, 2011, DSP Mansha stated.