ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said on Wednesday that the execution of Shafqat Hussain had been halted.
Nisar told reporters that the execution had been halted as a decision regarding Shafqat Hussain’s age had to be made. The interior minister said a DNA test of Hussain would be conducted to determine his age.
Nisar said Shafqat Hussain’s case was 10-12 years old and his appeals had been dismissed by the Supreme Court while the death warrant had also been issued. The interior minister added that the decision to evaluate the case was taken after he had received a letter from civil society and there was international outcry over the issue.
“The Interior Ministry has issued directives to the provincial government that for the time being the execution should be halted,” said Nisar.
Charged when he was 14 for involuntary manslaughter, Shafqat Hussain was due to be executed on 14 January.
The interior minister further said that executions of other death row inmates would proceed swiftly. In response to condemnation of Pakistan’s decision to lift the death penalty ban, Nisar said decisions would be taken in the interest of the country. “Why is there no condemnation over India, Japan and several other democratic countries where there is the death penalty” Nisar questioned.
Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan requested the media to blackout news from terrorists and of their perspective.
Nisar was also asked about Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s alleged marriage and responded that he would congratulate Khan when an official announcement was made.