Shafqat Hussain to be hanged
Sumera Bibi, sister of Shafqat Hussain reacts during a news conference with other family members in MuzaffarabadReuters file photo

Pakistan has yet again stayed the execution of Shafqat Hussain who was due to be hanged on 9 June after being convicted of murder and kidnapping in September 2004.

A court in Karachi had issued a black warrant for the execution of Hussain but sources at the Karachi central jail told the Dawn newspaper that the execution had been further delayed. It is unclear until when the execution has been delayed.

Amnesty International and United Nations are reported to have pressured authorities into halting Hussain's execution late on 8 June, and jail officials were informed about the same just hours before his execution could be carried out.

Hussain was first scheduled to be hanged on 14 January, but was given a reprieve after the government halted his execution amid protests over his age.

After further investigations, the Pakistani national was set to be executed on 19 March, but was given a breather again, a day ahead of the sentence being carried out.

This time, human rights representatives had staged massive protests demanding a stay on the execution, after his lawyers had revealed that Hussain was a juvenile at the time of the sentencing and that he had admitted to the crime after being tortured in jail.

In April, another death warrant was issued, which was also postponed due to the controversy surrounding his sentencing.

In May this year, the jail superintendent had informed the trial court that the latest warrant issued by the Islamabad High Court staying Hussain's execution had been vacated and sought a fresh black warrant to go ahead with the execution.

Judge Saleem Raza Baloch of the ATC-III issued a black warrant on 2 June asking the superintendent of Karachi central jail to hang the prisoner on 9 June at 4.30am local time.

Further, the court asked jail authorities to carry out the execution and fulfil all legal requirements and return the death warrant with endorsement certifying that the sentence had been carried out.