ISLAMABAD: Even though Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani announced that death penalty was being turned into life imprisonment on June 21, four prisoners have been executed and the fifth, a father of two young daughters aged 9 and 11, is to be hanged to death on Wednesday in Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail.
The two small daughters have decided to make a final desperate bid to meet President Asif Zardari in his well-guarded presidency on Monday, to save the life of their father, on the plea that they had already lost their mother and should not be deprived of their father now.
This is yet another heartbreaking story that how these two children of the lesser god first lost their mother in 2006 suffering from blood cancer and are now on the verge of losing their father too on Wednesday without having any idea how they will live the rest of their lives without their parents, in a society which has no social security system for such poor souls.
Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani who had announced to commute the death sentences of over 7000 people on death row is yet to fulfill his promise, which had greatly given relief to the families of these prisoners waiting for their execution.
Zulifkar Ali’s daughters Noor Fatima 11 and Fiza Ali 9, have already been asked by the jail authorities to come and meet their father for the last time on Tuesday as jail authorities have issued hanging orders of Zulifkar Ali. The girls have already reached Rawalpindi from Lahore for their final meeting with their father who was sentenced to death on charges of killing a taxi driver in a shootout in 1998.
First the mother died and now its turn of the father on Wednesday morning in case President Zardari does not show mercy to these girls who have been made to pay the price for the act of their father.
The condemned prisoner Zulifkar Ali son of Rashid Ali, was working in Pakistan navy when he was arrested after a shootout between in which a taxi driver was killed. Abdul Qayyum, an uncle of these innocent girls told The News that he would take the unfortunate girls to Islamabad in a bid to meet the president Asif Zardari. Abdul Qayyum was unsure whether be would allowed to meet Mr President as he has neither any connections nor the link to get access to the most guarded president of Pakistan.
“In any case, I would try to meet president Zardari to make an appeal that please consider his nieces just his own daughters (Bakhtawar and Asifa) and spare the life of their father because I wont be able to raise them along with my own four small children with my meager income”, Mr Qayyum said in a choking voice.
He hoped President Zardari, who also has two daughters who have lost their mother will understand the plight of these young kids if they lose their father as well. “Mr Zardari himself is such a father under threat of his life and warning of attacks and has secured himself in the presidency.”
PM Gilani in his speech in the National Assembly on June 21 had announced that the mass commutation was a tribute to Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto who was assassinated on December 2007. The announcement was made a day before the birth anniversary of BB. “We have asked the Ministry of Interior to send a recommendation to the President to convert the death sentence of prisoners to life in prison,” Mr. Gilani had told the House. Meanwhile, it has been reported that condemned prisoner Zulfiqar Ali was the sole bread earner of his family.