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PHC stays execution of military court convict

Updated August 02, 2018

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PESHAWAR: A Peshawar High Court bench on Wednesday stayed execution of a person and suspended the sentence of death awarded to him by a military court on account of carrying out acts of terrorism.

The bench comprising Justice Qaiser Rasheed and Justice Ishtiaq Ibrahim issued notices to the respondents including the federal ministries of defence and interior and provincial home department in the writ petition filed by, Nisar Ahmad, a resident of Swat, challenging the conviction of his son Hafiz Israr Ahmad, by a military court.

After preliminary hearing, the bench sought record of the case and adjourned hearing of the petition.

Issues notices to defence, interior ministries

Advocates Ghulam Nabi and Sardar Yousafzai represented the petitioner and stated that in the first week of Sept 2009 Hafiz Israr was handed over to army officers including Maj Umer by the petitioner in Sirsanai area in Swat.

They stated that the detainee remained missing after that and his whereabouts were not known. Subsequently, they stated, the petitioner came to know that the detainee was in Kohat prison and he met him there on June 20, 2018.

The counsels said that last month a list of convicts by the military court was sent by the Kohat prison authorities to the Swat district police officer wherein the name of the detainee was also mentioned. They added that the DPO was asked to inform the legal heirs of those mentioned in the list to visit them in the prison as they had been sentenced to death and would be executed in near future.

The counsels said that the detainee belonged to a respectable family and was neither involved in any illegal activity, nor remained a member of any proscribed organisation. They added that the petitioner had not been informed for which crime his son had been convicted by the military court, where the trial had taken place, and when he was sentenced.

They contended that all the fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution were violated while sentencing the detainee including protection to life, fair trial and representation through counsel of one’s choice, etc.

The counsels said that according to 21st Constitution Amendment trial, a terrorist could be conducted in military courts provided such a terrorist had used violence in the name of religion. In that regard, they said, the terrorist had should be booked in an FIR, but in instant case there was no FIR registered against the detainee.

Published in Dawn, August 2nd, 2018