ISLAMABAD: Minister for Interior and Narcotics Control Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan here on Tuesday said execution of Saulat Mirza was delayed to investigate his horrifying video statement while hanging of Shafqat Hussain was put off so that a committee could ascertain his age.
Addressing a press conference here, he said Saulat Mirza gave a frightening statement and the Interior Ministry moved a summary for delay in his execution for 72 hours for investigating the video statement.
Seventy two hours were not enough for investigating the statement of Saulat and ninety days were sought, he added.
He said the Presidency would decide about extension in date of hanging of Saulat Mirza on the advice of Prime Minister, adding Balochistan government was investigating the video statement.
No law has bben broken while delaying the execution of Saulat, he explained.
To a question, he said Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) was a political entity and should continue its role as all its voters were patriotic Pakistanis.
He said action of the law enforcement agencies was not a matter of Karachi city or MQM but it was only about crime and the mandate was given by MQM and other political parties for launching operation against criminals in the city over and above politics.
MQM leader Farooq Sattar in a statement on June 27 last year in a statement had demanded that Karachi should be handed over to army and it was declared that Sindh Chief Minister would be captain of the operation to be conducted by Rangers and police, he added.
The minister said that execution of Shafqat Hussain was delayed to determine his age, adding the summary moved by Interior Ministry for delay in hanging of Shafqat was not the result of any pressure or influence.
Chaudhry Nisar said the case was made controversial by certain section of civil society and the media, so in order to reach the reality, the government decided to delay the death sentence. He said the Ministry has sought one month for investigating the case and a committee of FIA had been formed which would look into all matters relating to age of Shafqat Hussain.
The committee would ascertain whether Shafqat Hussain was underage in 2004, he added.
The minister said the case was not a matter of media publicity or politics but it was about merciless murder of a seven year old boy whose body was thrown into a nullah.
The child’s parents had to move out of their house due to intimidation and were still getting threats and were in hiding and had to be provided justice, he added.
The minister said he had not get any report till March 19 about Shafqat Hussain being underage at the time of murder.
At the time of his arrest, the jail doctor determined his age at 25 and jail authorities recorded his age at 24, he noted.
He said the High Court, Supreme Court and President Asif Ali Zardari rejected appeal of the convicted in 2012 on the basis of facts.
The convict still had to give proof of his age, he said adding the government wanted a transparent solution of this issue and media should not distort facts and think before doing negative reporting about Pakistan.
He said medical analysis of a person’s age was best determined between 18 to 25 years, adding some NGOS were presenting one sided facts.
The minister said capital punishment was exercised in USA, India, Japan and Sri lanka and Pakistan took the decision on capital punishment according to its law, constitution and teachings of Islam.
The government did not done any thing illegal by restoring capital punishment, he added.
He said nine military courts had been set up and 450 cases were sent in consultation with the provincial governments to these courts through a transparent process.
Chaudhry Nisar said Pakistan had agreements with many countries for exchange of prisoners.
After investigations it came forth that these agreements were violated and four persons were brought back from Britain and then were illegally set free with the connivance of government officials and this act had maligned name of Pakistan abroad, he added.
A section officer of Interior Ministry and personnel of Punjab police were in jail for this illegal act, he said adding all the four convicted persons were arrested again.
A person who was convicted in Britain for 24 years was released after few days on arrival in Pakistan and no documents were given to British government, he mentioned. He said two of the convicts who had fled abroad were also brought back.
Nine convicts were brought back from Thailand without approval of the Interior Ministry, he said adding they had been arrested.
The minister said hopefully investigation about these illegal release of convicts would be completed in 10 days and the results would be put before the nation.
To a question, the minister said more than 8500 people were on the Exit Control List (ECL) and some of them were on it for 15 to 20 years.
A new ECL policy would be announced in coming days and only those could be put on the list for a maximum period of three years for involvement only in heinous crimes.
The minister said many persons on the ECL held double passports for being involved in criminal activities and for avoiding visa refusal.
Relaxation was given that a person who willingly surrenders his passport would not be punished, he said adding now the misuse of passport would not occur again.
The minister said he talked to British High Commissioner about threats given by British citizen Altaf Hussain to Rangers and filing of a FIR by the law enforcement agency.
Nisar negated the alleged claim of MQM that he had given documents to the British government.
To a question, the minister said killing of Mullah Fazlullah could not be verified yet.