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PESHAWAR: A Peshawar High Court bench on Thursday temporarily stopped the execution of two men by suspending their death sentences awarded by a military court.

While issuing stay orders, Justice Shakeel Ahmad issued notices to the defence and interior ministries for responding to two separate petitions filed by relatives of the two convicts Afreen Khan and Fida Hussain, challenging their convictions by the military court on account of attacking members of law enforcement agencies (LEA).

The bench sought records of the cases whereas next date of hearing will be fixed afterward.

Advocate Mian Tajamul Shah appeared for the petitioners in both the cases. The petition against conviction of Afreen Khan has been filed by his brother Mohammad Ameen.

Issues notices to defence, interior ministries to respond to petitions

The counsel contended that Afreen Khan, a resident of Malookabad in Swat, had been living with his family at Bakshopul area in Peshawar.

He claimed that some members of LEAs raided his residence and took him away along with his wife and a minor daughter in 2011.

Later on, he claimed, the wife and daughter of the man were set free whereas his whereabouts were not known.

Mian Tajamul stated that the detainee’s wife sent applications to chief justice of Pakistan and other officials and subsequently a report was registered at a local police station against disappearance of his husband under section 365 of Code of Criminal Procedure. However, he stated that the detainee could not be traced and remained incommunicado.

The counsel stated that few days ago, the family members came to know through media that the detainee was convicted and sentenced to death by a military court.

About Fida Hussain, the counsel contended that he also belonged to Kabal tehsil of Swat and was taken into custody by the security forces in 2016. He stated that few days ago his family members came to know about his conviction through media.

He requested the court to suspend their death sentences till final disposal of their writ petitions as they might be executed anytime.

He argued that both the detainees had not been given a fair trial and several provisions of the Constitution of Pakistan had been violated.

It merits a mention that conviction of Afreen Khan was made public by Inter-Services Public Relations, the media wing of Pakistan Army, through a press release on December 21.

About him, the ISPR had stated that he and three other convicts were members of a proscribed organisation. It was added that they were involved in attacking LEAs that resulted in death of Subedar Awal Khan, Naik Azmatullah and injuries to another soldier.

The release said that they were also found in possession of firearms and explosives and confessed to their offences before a judicial magistrate.

Similarly, the conviction of Fida Hussain was made public on December 16 by ISPR.

It was stated that he was member of a proscribed organisation and he along with some other militants was involved in attacking LEAs that resulted in deaths of Assistant-Sub Inspector Noor Zaman, a Naib Subedar Hussain Faraz along with four other soldiers and injuries to five others.

It was stated that they were also involved in destruction of government educational institutions in Swat and admitted to their offences before a judicial magistrate.

Published in Dawn, December 28th, 2018