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MQM to move UN, ICJ against Saulat statement

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Pakistan News : Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) will move United Nations (UN) and International Court of Justice (ICJ) against what it called an organized state-sponsored conspiracy to push the under-persecution political party to wall.

“In order to seek justice, we have decided to knock on the doors of international forums for we believe Saulat Mirza’s enforced but legally insignificant video statement was leaked to media hours before his hanging only to mount pressure on the MQM,” party lawyer, Barrister Farogh Naseem told reporters here.

Naseem said this accusatory confessional statement had been reamed out of the death row convict under duress, adding it was a glaring violation of the law of the land.

“Mirza agreed to say to whatever they told him to, only to save his neck for sometime. The criminal procedure code, penal code of Pakistan, on-record original testimony, and the due legal code of conduct were scoffed at to air Mirza’s so-called revelations,” the barrister argued.

Given the rules and regulations there was no allowance in the law for what Mirza did.

“Show me a jail manual that allows an inmate to have his statement videoed, leaked to media, and brodcast a few hours ahead of his execution,” the MQM counsel questioned.

The MQM in the press conference also announced to write to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in this regard.

Authorities Thursday first delayed by three days and later by a month the hanging of a political activist convicted of murder, as a video of him emerged claiming his party chief had ordered him to carry out killings.

Saulat Ali Khan, also known as Saulat Mirza, was sentenced to death for murdering the then managing director of the city’s state-owned electricity company in 1997.

He was due to be hanged on Thursday but a stay was ordered, just as a video was circulated showing Mirza making striking allegations against the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) — the main party in Pakistan‘s violent economic hub of Karachi, of which he was an activist.

The MQM maintains a strong grip on power in Karachi under the leadership of Altaf Hussain who has been in self-imposed exile in London since 1992.

Mirza claimed Hussain had ordered him to carry out the murder for which he was sentenced to hang.

“Altaf Hussain directed us through Babar Ghauri (a senior party leader) that the KESC (Karachi Electric Supply Company) MD has to be killed,” Mirza said in the video, which was leaked to dozens of news channels.

The video is the latest blow to the MQM, whose headquarters were raided by paramilitary forces last week resulting in one death, the arrest of dozens of activists and the seizure of a cache of weapons.

It was not clear who shot or leaked the video, and the official reason given for the stay of execution was stayed was Mirza’s ill health.

“We requested the prime minister and on his advice the president put his execution on hold for 72 hours because of health concerns,” Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan told lawmakers in parliament Thursday.

But speaking on condition of anonymity, a senior official in the provincial home department of Baluchistan, where Mirza is in jail, told AFP there were hopes he could become a witness for the state.

The MQM, which is dominated by ethnic Muhajirs who migrated from India at the time of partition in 1947, presents itself as a liberal, secular force, but opponents accuse it of operating as a criminal enterprise.

Its hold on power in Karachi has weakened in recent years and senior members of the party have told AFP that it has fallen out of favour with the country’s powerful military establishment, who wish to see it cut down to size.

Hussain strongly denied Mirza’s allegations, in comments broadcast by all major TV channels. “I never gave any such orders to anyone and I do not even know Saulat Mirza,” Hussain said.

“It is an attempt to malign the party and the part of the ongoing media trial of my party.” Ghauri, the senior MQM leader, also denied the allegations. Agencies

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