Shafqat Hussain's execution halted for 72 hours

Published: March 19, 2015
This photograph taken on March 12, 2015 shows one of the Azad Kashmir parents of convicted killer Shafqat Hussain holding a photograph of their son in Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistani-administered Kashmir. PHOTO: AFP

This photograph taken on March 12, 2015 shows one of the Azad Kashmir parents of convicted killer Shafqat Hussain holding a photograph of their son in Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistani-administered Kashmir. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar said on Thursday that execution of  death row convict Shafqat Hussain has been stayed for 72 hours. 

Federal government on Wednesday halted execution of ‘underage’ convict Shafqat Hussain just hours before he was set to be hanged in Central Jail Karachi.

The development came after Minister for Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan requested the President of Pakistan to halt his execution pending re-examining his age.

“We have learnt from multiple sources that Shafqat’s execution has been stayed. We have yet to see an official notification but personally handed over his mercy petition to an official of Presidency at 11:30pm [Wednesday],” Communication Specialist for Justice Project Pakistan Shahab Siddiqi said.

After receiving documents from his family, the Interior Minister wrote to President Mamnoon Hussain requesting him to stay Shafqat’s execution temporarily, he said. Shafqat was due to be executed on March 19 at 6am.

“The president has postponed the execution of Shafqat Hussain for 30 days,” a presidency official told AFP.

Prison officials in Karachi, where the execution was going to take place, confirmed that they had received the orders from Islamabad and had cancelled the scheduled hanging.

Shafqat’s mother had filed a fresh mercy petition with President of Pakistan, seeking to commute her son’s death to life imprisonment.

“I seek mercy (of my son Shafqat Hussain s/o Shahzullah, as his execution date has been fixed by the Central Jail Karachi, for 19.03.2015) in the name of Allah Almighty from your highness, and request you to kindly commute my son’s death to life imprisonment (25 years punishment) as empowered under Article 45 of constitution of Pakistan which is not challenged in any court of law,” reads the petition.

“Through this new petition—we beg pardon of President/Prime Minister of Pakistan. I beg for new life of her son,” Makhani Begum, 65, told The Express Tribune on phone from district Neelum, Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

Documents made available to The Express Tribune show that Shafqat was born in 1991. His birth certificate and affidavit and CNIC of Shafqat’s class fellow, Qamarul Islam; affidavits and identity cards of Shafqat’s younger sister Sumera and his oldest brother Gul Zaman, his father and mother also prove his age. These documents have been submitted to Ministry of Interior as well as office of the President.

Shafqat was aged 14 when he had allegedly murdered a child in 2001. He had been sentenced to death by an anti-terrorism court in 2004. Mercy appeals for Shafqat were rejected by the high court in 2006, and the Supreme Court in 2007 while the then President, Asif Ali Zardari, had also rejected his mercy petition in 2012.

The question regarding Shafqat being a juvenile had recently been raised, but only after the court proceedings and his mercy appeals were rejected by the presidency and various courts and his black warrants issued.

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Reader Comments (20)

  • a
    Mar 19, 2015 - 12:13AM

    excellent! must make sure nobody gets punished unjustlyRecommend

    Mar 19, 2015 - 12:29AM

    Thank you NS and Sindh government and all those who campaigned to save his life . Hope his case will be re-examined.Recommend

  • H Chaudhry
    Mar 19, 2015 - 12:45AM

    He was a kid, lets show heart and rehabilitate this Kid. Give life a chance.Recommend

  • Osama
    Mar 19, 2015 - 12:59AM

    is he even guilty or not????Recommend

  • goggi (Lahore)
    Mar 19, 2015 - 1:00AM

    Allah bless you Mr. Minister and Mr.President for your great decision!

    May Allah bless ALL my fellow country(wo)men and long live Pakistan in peace, harmony and social justice!!!Recommend

  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Mar 19, 2015 - 1:10AM

    Thank you to those kind hearted people who used social media for a great cause. Shafqat’s only crime was that he was poor.Recommend

  • Ali
    Mar 19, 2015 - 3:59AM

    Thank you !
    God bless.Recommend

  • zara
    Mar 19, 2015 - 4:16AM

    @H Chaudhry:
    This iswrong attitude. Reinvestigate and if he is guiltty then punish. but this mindset isnt fine. The man who did the worst crime in delhi bus victim was also declared juvenile!! Did he desrve to live???Recommend

  • Valerie Kaul
    Mar 19, 2015 - 5:45AM

    Under aged or not he was tortured so that makes his sentence inadmissible anyway!Recommend

  • Munir
    Mar 19, 2015 - 6:40AM

    I’m more interested in what forced Shaqat into murdering a child at the age of 14 (if he ever committed that crime).

    And all those celebrating here please ask how is the mother of that murdered child feeling at the moment. Has she pardoned Shafqat? Is she on media? Heck no one is taking about that family.Recommend

  • zara
    Mar 19, 2015 - 7:26AM

    dont act like idiots. If he is really guilty then he has to face it. Stop acting stupid.Recommend

  • S.R.H. Hashmi
    Mar 19, 2015 - 7:47AM

    So Shafqat Hussain was saved from the hangman just in the nick of time. According to ET report, Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan requested the President to halt the execution pending confirmation of Shafqat’s age. And the President, who acts as no more than a rubber stamp, and is employed at a considerable cost to the poor nation purely for blindly authenticating the acts of government, immediately granted a thirty-day reprieve to ascertain Shafqat’s age.

    And when it comes to the age of Shafqat, his close relatives as well as human rights organizations local and foreign have been crying hoarse, stating the fact of his being under-age at the time of committing the crime. So was there a real need to stage this sordid drama, complete with climax and anti-climax? The capacity and passion of the government to make itself look like a bunch of fools is really amazing.

    I know and accept the fact that we can’t have efficient officials, because there won’t be many around in the government’s pool of favourites to pick from, but do we deserve to be lumbered with the worst possible specimen in each sector?

    Karachi. Recommend

  • sane voice
    Mar 19, 2015 - 8:41AM

    Why didnt the family give the documents before if they had them all alongRecommend

  • SaneVoice
    Mar 19, 2015 - 8:52AM

    What is here to rejoice about? Are people really this much brainless these days that anybody will initiate a cyber trend #blahblah and it will become a moral & political gospel for every one to follow suit. The fact is he took a life, whether he was under 18 or not. He committed a grave crime and should be penalized. Secondly, if the protagonists of this murderer want us to believe that he admitted committing this crime under pressure from police then i have to believe that nobody shall ever be considered guilty for any thing……same will be applied to terrorists right?Recommend

  • roadkashehzada
    Mar 19, 2015 - 9:52AM

    any word from the family of victim of this “child”Recommend

  • khan420
    Mar 19, 2015 - 9:53AM

    Now that it is almost established that he was 14 at the time of the crime, will an inquiry be carried out involving the police officers, lawyers and judges who handed him a death sentence despite the fact that he was juvenile ????Recommend

  • Proud to be Muslim
    Mar 19, 2015 - 10:12AM

    Perfect (Y)Recommend

  • Lion King
    Mar 19, 2015 - 10:46AM

    @H Chaudhry: and what about that seven year old child
    Wasn’t he a kid in fact a child
    hypocrites acting humaneRecommend

  • Parvez
    Mar 19, 2015 - 1:17PM

    Is just HALTING the execution all that good ?…….it must be changed to life, if it needs to be considered as good.Recommend

  • kanwal khan
    Mar 21, 2015 - 1:10PM

    Very good may be he is innocent only God know this better…but i just want they should be carefull by punishments because there are alot of ppl like Shafqat….they are may be innocent and no one trust them…Recommend

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