Pakistan Government defers execution of former MQM activist by 30 days

 The Pakistan government today deferred by 30 days the execution of an ex-MQM activist convicted for target killings, amid allegations by him that the murders were carried out on party chief Altaf Hussain's order.

PTI| Updated: Mar 31, 2015, 01:40 AM IST

Karachi: The Pakistan government today deferred by 30 days the execution of an ex-MQM activist convicted for target killings, amid allegations by him that the murders were carried out on party chief Altaf Hussain's order.

Former MQM activist Saulat Mirza, who has accused the party chief Altaf Hussain of ordering him to carry out target killings in Karachi, was scheduled to be hanged on April 1 at Machh jail in Baluchistan province.

Jail superintendent Ishaq Zehri said they received an order from President Mamnoon Hussain today to delay the execution for 30 more days.

"We had made preparations to carry out the hanging on April 1, but now we have got the fresh orders and no reason has been given for staying the execution of the death row convict," Zehri said.

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had last week asked the President to postpone execution of Mirza by 30 days.

Mirza was earlier due to be hanged on March 19 but hours before his execution a video of his confessional statement was released to some television channels in which he made serious allegations against Altaf and other Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) members of being involved in killings and other crimes.

On the basis of his video statement, the Interior Ministry stayed his execution until further probe into the matter. However, the MQM questioned how a death row prisoner was allowed to record this statement.

Mirza has been on death row since 1999 for the killings of then Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) Chief Shahid Hamid, his guard and driver in 1998 in Karachi.

The former MQM worker, who rose quickly in the ranks of the party, was later disowned by the MQM after he became notorious for his target killings.