Pakistan's interior ministry has officially stayed the execution of "underage" convict Shafqat Hussain for another 30 days and has informed the prison administration in Karachi not to proceed with the hanging until further notice.
According to The Express Tribune, Shafqat Hussain's execution has been halted for 30 days and jail authorities apprised ATC III about the same on Tuesday, 24 March.
The interior ministry granted the last minute reprieve after Hussain's family presented his birth certificate and insisted that he was just 14 years old when he was convicted for the crime.
In the birth certificate, which was issued by the local government, Hussain's date of birth has been mentioned as 1 October 1991. But jail authorities insist that he was 23 years old when he was handed the punishment.
Hussain was convicted of murdering a child in 2004. He was scheduled to be executed on 19 March, after the country lifted the moratorium on capital punishment in December 2014.
However, following intervention from human rights groups, Hussain was spared the capital punishment for 72 hours. His lawyers had stated that the "teenager" had confessed to the crime after he was tortured in jail.
Under the country's laws a convict who is below 18 years of age at the time of committing the crime cannot be handed the capital punishment. Moreover, confessions given by people under torture are not admissible by courts.
In Hussain's case, an interior ministry official said that an inquiry committee would investigate and determine his real age at the time the crime was committed and a decision will be taken after a report is submitted by the investigating team.