Convicted target killer Saulat Mirza was hanged today (Tuesday), early morning in Machh Jail Balochistan, and his body was moved from Machh to Quetta, from where it will be flown to Karachi later today.

Sentenced to death in 1999, Saulat Mirza had been on death row for 17 years till the Pakistan government lifted the moratorium on capital punishment following the December 16 tragedy in Peshawar.

While Saulat Mirza was initially scheduled to be executed in March, he made startling revelations at the 11th hour, naming several high profile figures including Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s chief Altaf Hussain.

In his plea, he requested more time to provide crucial evidence and details pertaining to several crimes and target killings, which he allegedly carried out at the behest of MQM and its leaders. Following the video, which was also aired on television, the President of Pakistan stayed Saulat Mirza’s execution to give more time for an investigation into his allegations.

Eventually a joint investigation team was formed to interrogate Mirza and take action on the information he was willing to provide. However, the JIT finally concluded that Saulat Mirza was unable to provide any “actionable intelligence or cogent evidence” – and in essence gave the go ahead for his execution.

Mirza’s black warrant was then issued for the third time on May 2, setting the date for his hanging at May 12.

The capital punishment order for Saulat Mirza was made by ATC-5, which found him guilty of the murder of Malik Shahid Hamid, the former Managing Director of Karachi Electric Supply Corporation, his guard and his driver on July 5, 1997.

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