KARACHI: An anti-terrorism court in Karachi on Monday issued death warrant for condemned prisoner Shafqat Hussain, and ordered his execution on June 9.

Superintendent Central Jail Karachi wrote a letter to the judge of ATC-III, saying that the stay period of Shafqat’s execution is over, and therefore a black warrant be issued for the hanging of the death row prisoner.

ATC-III judge issued a death warrant for the condemned prisoner with directives to hang him till death on June 9 at 4:30am under the supervision of a judicial magistrate, and submit a compliance report after executing him.

Shafqat was arrested and sentenced to death in 2004 for the kidnapping and involuntary murder of a seven-year-old boy, who lived in a Karachi apartment building where he worked as a security guard.

All courts in the land had turned down his appeals and the Supreme Court threw out a review petition that was the first to raise the matter of Shafqat’s juvenility at the time of arrest, maintaining that this line of defence should have been introduced at the trial court level.

Previously Shafqat’s legal team, insisted that Shafqat’s earlier defence attorneys did not plead his case competently, which was why this aspect was overlooked in the past. Just over two month ago, before Shafqat was scheduled to be executed, he was granted a last-minute reprieve and Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan had ordered an inquiry into the matter, which was tasked with establishing the veracity of the lawyers’ contention that Shafqat was a minor at the time of sentencing.–Online

The case also garnered a lot of attention on social and mainstream media and became a bone of contention between supporters and opponents of the death penalty. Last month, an executive inquiry to determine whether Shafqat was a juvenile at the time of his sentencing concluded that he was 23 years old when the punishment was handed down.