Prince Charles and his wife Camilla have begun their five day goodwill tour of Pakistan with an expression of their appreciation of Pakistan’s efforts countering global terrorism.

The case of Mirza Tahir Hussain, the Briton who was due to be hanged for murdering a taxi driver in Pakistan was also raised during the meeting. He was due to be hanged on Wednesday but the execution was delayed for two months after Prince Charles and Prime Minister Tony Blair intervened in the matter. The issue is highly sensitive and human rights campaigners in Britain are hopeful that during this visit Prince Charles can convince the Pakistani President to pardon Hussain and to commute the sentence.Hussain, who has spent 18 years in jail in Rawalpindi, is to be hanged after December 31 under Sharia law for murdering a taxi driver in 1988.The 36-year-old, originally from Leeds, has always maintained he was acting in self defence.He was set be hanged this Wednesday during the royal tour, but was given a stay of execution earlier this month after Charles and Prime Minister Tony Blair expressed concern.

During this five day visit, though the royal couple will be travelling under high security which would not allow much public interaction, they are scheduled to visit a Mosque and a Madrassa.
Although the madrassas in Pakistan have gained the global reputation as militant recruiting grounds, they are meant to provide facilities like basic education and lodging for children of poor families.Incidentally Pakistan has just launched a missile attack against a Madrasa in its border areas with Afghanistan in an effort to apparently wipe out the militants harboured in there.

Extending warm hospitality to the royal couple, the Pakistani government has gifted Camilla two outfits embroidered in traditional style and the Prince a woollen chitrali hat, which he promised to try out in private.

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