Mr. Zahid Hussain Shah, (passport number CQ 5149432), confined at I.T (identity) 1760, Hunan Road detention cell, Shanghai, China, was taken into custody from a hotel on September 4, 2008 on charges of smuggling drugs into China.
He was formally arrested on these the charges on October 10, 2008 along with seven other persons including, four Pakistanis and three Filipinos who told the custom authorities that Zahid Hussain Shah has provided drugs them to bring in China. The drugs were confiscated from the seven accused persons in tablet form wrapped in tin foils from their luggage and stomachs. Zahid’s family members say that he was asleep at the hotel at the time of his arrest and argue that a guilty person would not be so relaxed.
The Foreign Affairs Office of Shanghai Higher People’s Court notified that on March 19, 2010 the Shanghai First Intermediate People’s Court announced the death sentence and confiscated his personal property. After the verdict, the defendant appealed to the Shanghai Higher People’s Court against his death sentence but this court upheld the decision of the lower court. The Supreme Court also upheld the death sentence and scheduled his execution for September 21, 2011.
The family members, including his father and sister cousin, say that the authorities in the Pakistan Embassy inChina had misguided them repeatedly and not helped the victim. They say that they had spent more than Rs. 2.5 million in legal fees and it was done with the consultation of Embassy staff.
In fact, one staff member, Mr. Mahmood Akhtar Mahmood pursued the family during the trial itself to urge him to confess to the crime so that he would not be hanged. The lawyer was also pressurised the victim to confess. Acting on the advice of the lawyer and under pressure from Mahmood, he did so. Due to his confession all the other seven persons were sentenced to life imprisonment, however, Zahid Hussain Shah was sentenced to death.
After the death sentence the Pakistani embassy stopped conveying any information to the family members after telling them that nothing further could be done after the Supreme Court decision. The only suggestion was to pray for him.