LAHORE: Ikramul Haq, an activist of the banned Sipah-i-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP) was hanged at Kot Lakhpat Central Jail, Lahore, on Saturday morning for the 2001 killing of a man at an imambargah in Jhang.

Haq;s execution was scheduled earlier on January 8, 2014 but was delayed at the eleventh hour after an agreement between the plaintiff and the defendant was produced before the magistrate.

Later the condemned prisoner and the plaintiff parties were asked to approach the anti-terrorism court for confirmation of the agreement pardoning Haq.

Out of eight family members of the deceased Abbas, only his two brothers and a sister appeared before the judge, hence the court refused to accept the agreement and upheld its decision of death sentence to the convict.

Earlier in 2004 an anti-terrorism court in Faisalabad had awarded the death sentence to Ikramul Haq in connection with killing a man Nayyar Abbas, who was a guard of Altaf Shah of the banned Sipah-i-Muhammad at an imambargah in Shorkot, Jhang in 2001.

The ATC had issued his (Haq's) death warrants on January 6, 2014. President of Pakistan Mamnoon Hussain had also turned down his mercy appeal.

The Faisalabad anti-terrorism court had also reissued black warrant for Haq's execution. Council for the convict had challenged the warrants before the Lahore High Court but the petition was dismissed by a bench of the LHC.

Strict security measures were in place in and around Kot Lakhpat Central Jail. Heavy contingent of police, besides army and rangers personnel were deployed in and outside the jail premises.

Family members of Ikramul Haq held last meeting with him on Wednesday. After carrying out the execution, authorities handed over Haq's body to his brother.

So far 20 convicts have been hanged since the lifting of a moratorium on death penalty by the government after the Peshawar school carnage.

On Dec 17, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had lifted the moratorium on death penalty after the attack on Peshawar's Army Public School that killed more than 140 people — including 134 school children.

The moratorium was enforced during the tenure of the Pakistan Peoples Party government in 2008.

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