Jail administration seeks fresh death warrant of Saulat Mirza

Published March 19, 2015
An outside view of Machh Jail. —Mehmood Khan Hamdard
An outside view of Machh Jail. —Mehmood Khan Hamdard

QUETTA/ISLAMABAD: The administration of Machh central jail has sent a letter to anti terrorist court (ATC) Karachi, seeking fresh death warrant of Saulat Mirza, Superintendent Machh Jail Muhammad Ishaq Zehri told Dawn.com.

"Death warrant issued earlier has expired after postponement of Mirza's execution," he added. Mirza was scheduled to be executed on March 19 at 5.30am, but his hanging was postponed at eleventh hour following a presidential order.

"We are likely to get the new death warrant on Friday," said Zehri. New date for the execution of triple murderer would be fixed by honorable court, he added.

Video of Saulat Mirza has given rise to more questions than answers and political situation in the country took new turn after dreadful prisoner's confession and revelations. Balochistan government, however, ordered an inquiry into making of the video.

"We have established an inquiry committee to probe into making of the video," Balochistan Home Minister Sarfaraz Bugti told reporters. He said Mirza was unconscious throughout the night as the time of his execution was approaching fast.

On Thursday, family members, wife, sister and others met Mirza in Machh Jail. Provincial government has ordered provision of security to Mirza's family.

Execution stayed due to convict’s health: Nisar

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.

Read more: Saulat spills the beans; execution stayed

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.”


Overview of Nisar's speech in National Assembly:

  • Saulat Mirza not well enough to be hanged
  • No evidence presented regarding Shafqat Hussain age
  • Govt wants due process to be followed in Imran Farooq murder case

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.

Read: Last-minute reprieve for death row prisoner

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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