ISLAMABAD–Ignoring the elephant in the room — death row convict Saulat Mirza’s startling revelations about the MQM’s alleged involvement in murder — Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar said the target killer’s execution was stayed as “he is not well enough to be executed”.
Speaking on the floor of the National Assembly, Nisar skirted around the issue of the convict’s heavy allegations from his death cell, but added that Mirza was involved in other heinous murders along with that of former KESC MD Shahid Hamid.
Mirza, in a video statement aired on Geo News, hurled startling allegations on Muttahida Qaumi Movement and its top leadership, just a few hours before his execution was scheduled to take place on Thursday at 5:30AM. Mirza’s execution has now been postponed for 72 hours.
Mirza said he was an MQM worker and received direct orders from MQM leader Babar Ghauri to assassinate KESC chief Shahid Hamid.
Nisar said he wanted to take the house into confidence regarding his meeting with British High Commissioner as well as the staying of executions of Saulat Mirza and Shafqat Hussain.
“Another case came before us [after Shafqat Hussain] regarding a convict, who was not well enough to be hanged,” he said, referring to Mirza.
“So for different cases, for different reasons we stayed both the executions for 72 hours. This decision was taken late last night.”
Shafqat Hussain hanging stayed for 72 hours
Nisar also said that while no documentary evidence has been given to him that confirms Shaqat’s status as a juvenile, the government issued a stay on his execution due to the questions being raised on Pakistan’s justice system.
“We have moved pillar and post to assess whether the age quoted in jail records and before the courts till 2012 are correct or not,” he said.
“This is not my responsibility. It is the responsibility of the accused, the affected party. But I did my best. Till last night, no proof came before me. But because a question is being raised on our justice system, on the advice of the prime minister and interior ministry, the president issued the notification.”
He reiterated that a decision will be taken within 36 hours, and that there is no DNA evidence that can determine Shafqat’s age at the time of the crime.
The execution of Shafqat Hussain has been postponed for 72 hours, the notification issued just a few hours before his hanging was scheduled to take place this morning.
On his meeting with British High Commissioner Phillip Barton, he said that the Dr Imran Farooq murder case came under discussion, but that the issue should not be politicised. “We have made no official request to the British government,” he said.
MQM leader Dr Imran Farooq, aged 50, was on his way home from work when he was attacked in Green Lane on Sept 16, 2010 outside his London home. A post-mortem examination found that he died from multiple stab wounds and blunt trauma to the head.
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