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Shafqat Hussain’s hanging suspended fourth time

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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan today (Tuesday) annulled the decision of Islamabad High Court (IHC) for not hearing the plea of death row prisoner Shafqat Hussain and grant a stay as well on Shafqat’s execution.

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The hearing was postponed till June after Hussain’s legal team requested the panel some time to confirm whether his client’s execution was halted. It is worth to note hear that Amnesty International, United Nations and around six European Countries are pressuring Pakistani officials to halt Shafqat Hussain’s execution. For this purpose, a group of United Nations human rights experts also met with Pakistani authorities and ask to halt Hussain’s execution.

SP Karachi Central Jail Kazi Nazeer Ahmed has confirmed the postponement of Hussain’s execution. His execution was scheduled for today at 4.30 a.m. Shafqat has got relief fourth time. Family and lawyers of Shafqat Hussain have appealed many a time to President Mamnoon Hussain to pardon him, arguing that there has never been a credible investigation into his age at the time of his conviction.

Justice Project Pakistan (JPP) is very active in case of Shafqat Hussain and making every effort to get permanent relief for Shafqat Hussain. A spokesperson of the JPP has told, “We want the execution to be halted and a judicial commission to be formed to determine his age.” He argued that FIA report which stated that culprit was 23-years old at the time of offense, was based on police and jail records. “The affidavit, parents IDs and the school record which show that he was born in 1986, according to which he was a juvenile, have been overlooked,” he argued.

Talking to the media, Hussain’s lawyer Sarah Belal told NBC News, “The last three times he has come within hours of dealt. So just think about what that does to both and his family. It’s harrowing. He can’t eat or sleep. We have been in touch with his family and they are going through this ordeal as well.”

After today decsion, senior journalist Moeed Pirzada has said, “Govt’s “Pusillanimous Surrender” to EU on Shafqat Hussain? It’s important to understand why EU’s position is wrong and why it will be a disaster for Pakistan at this stage.”

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He said, “Western funded NGO’s (like Justice Foundation & Pak Human Right Commission backed up by British NGO Reprieve & US based Human Right Watch) are not interested principally in Shafqat Hussain; this is their test case, an experiment, to delegitimize Death Penalty in Pakistan; these NGO’s and there few dozen supporters active on social media are not concerned about the consequences for Pakistan and its politics or its struggle against terrorism and violence. They are only agents for EU foreign Policy through which they are funded. EU’s direct intervention on their behalf makes its abundantly clear.”

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