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Pakistani court paves way for execution of mentally ill man

Pakistan's Supreme Court has paved the way for the execution of a mentally ill prisoner by ruling that schizophrenia is not a mental disorder, according to an international rights group and a local defence lawyer.

Sara Bilal, a lawyer at Justice Project Pakistan, said the court ruling was issued on Thursday with a statement on overturning the stay of execution for Imdad Ali, whose final appeal was rejected last year.

Ali has been on death row since 2001 when he was convicted of murdering a religious scholar.

Ms Bilal's comments came a day after the international rights group Reprieve expressed concern over the latest court order, urging the Pakistani president to "urgently intervene" to halt Ali's execution.

Under Pakistani law, only the president can pardon a death row inmate.

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