With thousands on death row, govt rules against death penalty

A 2008 moratorium on capital punishment imposed by the previous government expired on June 30.


Reuters October 03, 2013
A 2008 moratorium on capital punishment imposed by the previous government expired on June 30. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: The government has scrapped plans to reinstate the death penalty following threats by militants to step up attacks in retaliation.

A 2008 moratorium on capital punishment imposed by the previous government expired on June 30 and the country had been due to execute two jailed militants in August - a plan described by the Tehreek-e-Taliban as an act of war.

"The government has decided to continue with the moratorium on capital punishment since it is aware of its international commitments and is following them," Interior Ministry spokesperson Omar Hamid said.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif-led government originally said it wanted to reinstate the death penalty in a bid to crack down on criminals and militants in a move strongly criticised by international human rights groups.

Up to 8,000 people languish on death row in dozens of overcrowded and violent jails.

The moratorium drew praise because of concerns its courts and police were too inept to ensure the accused a fair trial. Pakistan did, however, break its own rules in 2012 when it executed a convicted murderer and a former army serviceman.

COMMENTS (22)

unbelievable | 9 years ago | Reply

Govt has chosen trade with EU over the death penalty - good decision if your goal is to improve the economy. Like it or not the EU and the USA are your largest export market and they purchase the highest margin products.

Saadiya | 9 years ago | Reply

Human rights for animals , and criminals ? What about the culture this is giving rise to ! Is the govt chicken . They are scared of Taliban and international opinion ? Why don't they hand over the govt to them

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