Today lawyers for Shafqat Hussain will file papers seeking to stay the execution, due on Thursday, until allegations of torture have been heard and Hussain’s age investigated. Interior Minister, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan had suspended the sentence in January awaiting investigation. There has been no inquiry and he stands at death’s door again. Hussain has been on death row for 10 years for a murder he committed when he was 14. The confession was given after nine days of torture, so it is moot whether he even committed the crime. And even if Shafqat did do it, as a juvenile he can’t be executed.

We live in a society where many in the federal and provincial bureaucracy are opposed to a death penalty moratorium of any kind. Most feel it is un-Islamic and a swift illustration of justice. Hussain’s lawyer has said that he has been “lumped in with all that – a scapegoat they want to hang along with a multiple murderer on the same day, in the same jail”.

These crimes that the state has been committing against its wards provide much food for thought. How is it that the crime of the murderer Mumtaz Qadri, has not been classified as an act or terror, and yet the disappearance of a man and a subsequent forced confession from a 14 year old for his murder, is? While Pakistani citizens and rights groups are up in arms to stop his execution the Islamabad high court ordered the release of Zaki ur Rehman Lakhvi, the accused mastermind of the Mumbai terror attacks.

And so it would seem, our children continue to pay for the crimes of their elders. The police, judiciary and state are complicit. From the brutal torture that the police puts suspects through, to the federal ministers who order investigations that never amount to anything. If this young man, who’s life is already wasted, is executed on Thursday, Pakistan loses all international credibility as a state where citizens have the right to life and a right to due process. This will be a PR disaster for the state internationally, and set legal precedents for the future creation for an even more brutal and biased justice system.