President Mamnoon Hussain has granted unconditional pardon to the Rangers’ personnel who had been sentenced to life imprisonment after they were involved in the June 2011 killing of a youth inside Karachi’s public park in the Clifton area.
The Presidential Pardon was granted by Hussain in exercise of his powers under Article 45 of the Constitution. “After receiving the pardon orders from the President House, we have communicated with the IG prison, and the convicts may be freed any time from Karachi’s Central Jail,” said a senior official of the Home Department.
A 22-year-old man by the name of Sarfraz Shah was killed by the Rangers after they thought that he was a robber out in the park to loot people of their belongings. The entire killing was captured by a cameraman from a private TV channel who was at the park to record an event.
The video was aired on several TV channels sparking a huge public outcry over this unjust killing. Due to the public outrage, the government removed the provincial chiefs of Rangers and police after the then chief justice of Pakistan, Iftikhan Chaudhry took notice of the incident.
On August 12, 2011, an anti-terrorism court in Karachi handed death penalty to a Ranger trooper Shahid Zafar for the ‘extrajudicial’ murder and life imprisonment to five others, including Sub-Inspector Bahaur Rehman, Lance Naik Liaquat Ali and constables Muhammad Tariq, Manthar Ali and Afzal Khan.
The park’s watchman, Afsar Khan, was also jailed for life in the case.
After a series of appeals and repeals, all of the accused were given life imprisonment sentences and the death sentence was taken out of the charges.
However, all the accused are now free as they have been given the Presidential Pardon.