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January 9, 2015

Background of Saulat Mirza and jail networks


January 9, 2015

ISLAMABAD: The federal government’s claims of ‘now a sincere fight against terrorism across the country’ were badly hurt when it was revealed that it has officially written to the Sindh government not to execute Pakistan’s biggest and first convict in terrorism cases, Saulat Mirza.
The federal government’s letter is also in complete contradiction to a latest statement of spokesman for the prime minister, Dr Musaddiq Malik that terrorists will be hanged without any discrimination.
Mercy appeal of only convict of Karachi’s target killings, Saulat Mirza, remained pending for four years in Sindh and then it gathered dust in the Interior Ministry for many years and finally landed in the Prime Minister House from where it was to be sent to Presidency but the PML-N government sat on it because of political and vested interests. Now finally it has written to the provincial government not to execute Mirza because of its political interests keeping aside national sentiments against terrorism and a national unity to fight against terrorist forces.
Sindh Police officials say Saulat Mirza is the only terrorist and target killer of Karachi whose conviction in a terrorism case got finality. According to Karachi Police officials, Karachi’s biggest target killer and a sign of terror was arrested from Karachi Airport in December 1998 while returning from Bangkok on the charges of killing the then MD of KESC Malik Shahid Hamid in Defence, Karachi in 1997.
The record disclose that on May 24, 1999, Mirza was sentenced to death by an anti-terrorism court in Karachi after he was found guilty of murdering Hamid, his driver, Ashraf Brohi and guard Khan Akbar on July 5, 1997 in Defence area. The Sindh High Court dismissed Saulat Mirza’s appeal on January 21, 2000. Mirza’s counsels moved the Supreme Court which also dismissed his appeal for having no weight on September 14, 2001 and maintained the death penalty.
The SC also rejected the review appeal of

Saulat Mirza on March 9, 2004. According to law, the police officials say, Mirza should have been executed after the disposal of his mercy petition. Number of methods were tried to get him off the hook including threatening the heirs of Shahid Hamid to grant Saulat mercy under Qisas in 2003. Then, officials say, in 2004, it was also attempted to have the constitutional pardon powers of the president transferred to provincial constitutional office holders so save Mirza. For four years, the file for Saulat’s mercy petition was unnecessarily delayed in the province. Legal time limit for the execution of a convict is seven days from the announcement of the final appeal. Finally, the file reached the Interior Ministry in 2008, where it gathered dust for a long time and then finally the PML-N government came in for the rescue and now the appeal was pending in the Prime Minister Office just for onward transmission to the Presidency.
Police officials say Saulat Mirza remained directly involved in killing of many police and jail officers and controlled target killing networks from his jail cell. The whole jail remained under his complete control and all officers remained almost like his subordinates for a long time and those who refused to comply with his orders had to taste death. Top police officials say that such practices by the political governments are disheartening the police. After jail official Amanullah Niazi was shot dead in 2006 when he tried to interfere into Mirza’s activities, no one even thought of arguing with Mirza. Mirza was transferred to interior Sindh jail in July but was brought back to Karachi jail under political pressure.
Salut’s relatives said that one of Mirza’s appeals is pending before the Supreme Court.However a legal expert said the Supreme Court did not entertain any appeal or petition after a decision was given on a Review Petition.

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