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PESHAWAR: A Peshawar High Court bench has stayed the execution of a man convicted by a military court on the charge of terrorism.

Justice Qalandar Ali Khan and Justice Mohammad Ayub Khan admitted to the regular hearing a petition of Sadaqat Begum challenging the death sentence awarded to her husband, Shakirullah, by a military court.

After preliminary hearing into the petition, the bench issued notices to the respondents, including the secretaries of defence, interior and law ministries, and home and tribal affairs department, to respond to the petition.

The next hearing will be fixed later.

Akhunzada Asad Iqbal, lawyer for the petitioner, said his client belonged to Balambat tehsil of Lower Dir district and lived in Peshawar’s Dir Colony.

He said his client’s husband, Shakirullah, had gone missing prompting his brother, Syed Ali Shah, to lodge a complaint with the Paharipura police station on Apr 29, 2010.

The lawyer said the police had registered an FIR of the abduction of Shakirullah on Nov 7, 2012.

He said his client later submitted separate applications to the chief justice of Pakistan and the Malakand DIG seeking intervention for the recovery of her husband.

The lawyer said those applications had pointed out that his client’s husband was taken away by some security personnel on Peshawar’s Dalazak Road on April 2010 and his whereabouts had not been known since.

He said the petitioner got a notice from the office of the Kohat jail’s superintendent on June 11, 2018, revealing that the Army chief had confirmed the death sentence awarded to her husband, Shakirullah, by a military court.

The lawyer said nothing was conveyed to his client about the charges under which her husband had been tried and when he was convicted.

He said the convict had neither appeared before the relevant area magistrate nor had any information about his detention been provided to any of the relevant agencies, which went against the relevant laws, rules and regulation.

The lawyer claimed that the convict wasn’t linked to any militant or banned outfit and instead, he was a peaceful and respectable citizen.

He added that even the procedural law like the Code of Criminal Procedure wasn’t followed by the military court during the ‘so-called’ trial of the convict.

The lawyer requested the court to declare the conviction of Shakirullah illegal and unconstitutional.

Published in Dawn, July 6th, 2018