ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari has pardoned the personal guard of Malik Riaz, who had killed a person in Sector F-8, Islamabad, in 2010 and was convicted by the court after he confessed while his appeal is still pending in the High Court.
Muhammad Basharat, son of Muhammad Taj, along with four other people, killed a person in a shootout in F-8 Markaz, January 9, 2010, and confessed in the lower court, which sentenced him to 33 years rigorous imprisonment. Because of his confession, all other accused were released.
Basharat had moved an appeal in the high court and his appeal is yet to be decided. According to credible sources, the president has remitted the remaining sentence of the convict a few days ago, and the Interior Ministry sent a ‘Most Immediate’ letter to the Punjab home secretary on June 13, 2012, to immediately release the prisoner.
On the other hand, credible sources confirmed to The News that the Punjab government has refused to release the prisoner on the grounds that judicial process has to be completed before the president could consider to remit or pardon any convict.
The June 13, 2012 letter, written to the Punjab home secretary by the Interior Ministry, Islamabad, bears the number F No 3/100/2011-PTNS, reads as “Subject: Mercy Petition of condemned prisoner Muhammad Basharat son of Muhammad Taj presently confined at Central Jail, Adiyala, Rawalpindi:
“Dear Sir, I am directed to refer to the above subject and to say that the president has been pleased to remit the remaining sentence of the convict Muhammad Basharat son of Muhammad Taj involved in case FIR No 19/10 dated 09-01-2010 u/s 353, 337-F, 337-C, 148, 149, 324, 316, PPC, 7-ATA, 1997, registered with PS Margalla, District Islamabad, under Article 45 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
2- The provincial government is directed to intimate the prisoner accordingly and to comply with the president, under intimation of all concerned. Your faithfully, Noor Zaman Khan, Section Officer (Ptns) Ph: 051-9207026, Fax:051-9219738.”Presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar and Interior Secretary Khawaja Siddique Akbar were repeatedly approached on their contact numbers, but they did not respond.