ISLAMABAD: Having partially lifted the moratorium on death penalty for those convicted on terror charges, it emerged this week that the government has also decided to lift the moratorium for those on death row for non-terror convictions.
According to a letter issued by the interior ministry’s joint secretary, sentences will be carried out in those instances where all legal avenues have been exhausted by the condemned. This would mean that nearly 1,000 prisoners on death row stand to be executed in the coming weeks.
“The execution of death sentences may be carried out strictly as per the law and only where all legal options and avenues have been exhausted and mercy petitions under Article 45 of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan have been rejected by the president.”
The moratorium was partially lifted following the December 16 terrorist attack on the Army Public School, and sentences were carried out for those convicted in terror cases. So far, nearly two dozen convicts have been executed.
FIA arrests murder suspect with the assistance of interpol
In a separate development, the interior ministry said on Saturday that following instructions from Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has arrested Rizwan Habib.
Wanted in a murder case, Habib was apprehended from Ecuador with the assistance of Interpol after nearly eight months.
The accused has been convicted in a murder case in London and as per an agreement, he was due to serve his prison term in Pakistan.
The interior ministry’s official said that others accused in the same case had already been arrested from Pakistan and United Arab Emirates.