Islamabad: Shafqat Hussain’s hanging postponed
KARACHI: Former Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) worker Saulat Mirza’s hanging was shelved for 72 hours after he had shown some of the deadly cards he had so far been keeping close to his chest in a last-ditch bid to buy some more time.
“On the behest of party’s London-based leader Altaf Hussain, Senator Babar Ghouri ordered the four of us to gun down the managing director of (formerly) Karachi Electric Supply Corporation currently K-Electric Shahid Hamid,” Mirza alleged in a rare statement issued from his death cell Wednesday night.
Begging pardon for his heinous crimes, Mirza, who had tears in his eyes, warned the party workers, sympathizers, and wannabe members, against falling in the wrong hands and the subsequent brainwashing.
“Today I have become an example for all those who are in the party or deliberating to join it. Let me tell you they use the workers as tissue paper wipes and then throw them away. So open your eyes and do what is right,” he said dubbing himself as other activists as expendables.
Mirza said that he did not want to be hanged without sharing with the authorities a hoard of information that could prove vital in bringing about peace in Karachi.“I know a lot of things that can help the men of affairs restore calm in the metropolis. I am not asking them to ,” said he.
Meanwhile, President Mamnoon Hussain in an emergent high-level meeting in the president house decided to put off Mirza’s execution for 72 hours. According to sources, Machh Jail authorities have received the orders to stay the hanging for another three days.
The execution Shafqat Hussain has been postponed for an indefinite period. President Mamnoon Hussain shelved the hanging on the request of Federal Interior Minister, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan.
“I want to investigate the case myself,” the sources quoted the minister as saying. Earlier, the family of a Hussain, condemned to death as a teenager, made an emotional appeal for mercy Friday, saying a court order for his execution next week had “shattered their hopes”.
Last week, an anti-terrorism court in Karachi gave instructions to hang Shafqat Hussain, convicted of killing a seven-year-old boy in 2004, on Thursday March 19. Hussain’s case has triggered outrage from rights campaigners, who complain he did not get a fair trial and was only 15 at the time of the killing.
His mother Makhni Begum, who last saw Hussain in jail in 2005, insisted he was innocent in an emotional interview with in Kashmir, where the family are from. “All my hopes are shattered today.
I have no faith on the justice of this country,” she said, tears rolling down her cheeks. “It was my last desire to see my son but now this hope is also dying. Now I am pleading with God for my son’s life.”
Hussain was working as a watchman in the sprawling, violent metropolis of Karachi in 2004 when a seven-year-old boy went missing from the neighbourhood. A few days later the boy’s family received calls from Hussain’s mobile demanding a ransom of half a million rupees ($8,500 at the time), according to legal papers.
Hussain was arrested and during his first interrogation admitted kidnapping and killing Umair, whose body was found in a plastic bag in a stream. Hussain later withdrew his confession, saying he had made it under duress, but the case came before an anti-terrorism court which sentenced him to death.
Begum said Hussain, the youngest of seven children, had run away from home to escape grinding poverty, hoping to make a better life for himself in Karachi, only for disaster to strike soon afterwards. “One of our relatives called us from Karachi and let us know that our son is in Karachi and has been in jail in a murder case,” she said.