Government hangs 12 convicts in largest execution since moratorium lifted

Published: March 17, 2015
Twenty-seven people have been hanged since lifting of moratorium . PHOTO: AFP

Twenty-seven people have been hanged since lifting of moratorium . PHOTO: AFP

KARACHI / JHANG: Pakistan hanged 12 male convicts on Tuesday, an Interior Ministry spokesperson said, the largest number of people executed on the same day since an unofficial moratorium on capital punishment was lifted in December.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif lifted a de facto moratorium on capital punishment on December 17, a day after Pakistani Taliban gunmen attacked a school and killed 132 students and nine teachers. The slaughter put pressure on the government to do more to tackle the militant insurgency.

Read: 132 children killed in Peshawar school attack


According to Express News, three death row prisoners, Mubasher Abbas, Muhammad Sharif and Riaz, were executed in District Jail Jhang. Riaz was convicted of murdering one person in 1995, while Abbas and Sharif kidnapped a taxi driver in 2012 and killed him later.


Muhammad Afzal and Muhammed Faisal were executed in Central Jail Karachi. Both the death row prisoners had killed a person in Korangi during a dacoit. In 1999 they were sentenced to death. Hours before his execution, Afzal’s clemency plea was also rejected by the Supreme Court.

Read: To the gallows: Afzal, Kashif denied clemency before being hanged


Two death row prisoners, Rab Nawaz and Zafar Iqbal. Nawaz was convicted for murdering a woman, while Iqbal killed his father in 2003.


Two convicts, Malik Nadeem and Muhammed Javed were executed in Rawalpindi.


In Central Jail Faisalabad death row prisoner Muhammad Nawaz was executed. In 1992, Nawaz was sentenced to death for murder. His family visited him prior to his execution.


In Central Jail Gujranwala prisoner Iqbal was executed. In 1996, Iqbal had murdered his paternal uncle.


Death row prisoner Waqar was executed in Multan for murdering a a man identified as Taufeeq during a dacoit

Dera Ghazi Khan

In Central Jail Dera Ghazi Khan death row prisoner Asghar Ali was executed. The complainant who had filed a case against Ali had forgiven him before his execution.

Twenty-seven people have been hanged since then, most of them militants, but last week it emerged that officials had quietly widened the policy to include all prisoners on death row whose appeals had been rejected.

“They were not only terrorists, they included the other crimes, some of them were murderers and some did other heinous crimes,” the ministry spokesman said of the 12 executed at various jails.

Read: Govt lifts death penalty moratorium completely: officials

The moratorium on executions had been in place since a democratic government took power from a military ruler in 2008.

Human rights groups say many convictions in Pakistan are highly unreliable.

Its antiquated criminal justice system barely functions, torture has often been used to extract confessions and police are rarely trained in investigation, rights officials say.

There are more than 8,000 Pakistanis on death row.

Read: ATC issues death warrants for ‘underage’ convict Shafqat Hussain

On Thursday, the government is due to execute Shafqat Hussain. His lawyers say he was 14 when he was arrested a decade ago for the kidnap and manslaughter of a child, and his conviction was based on a confession extracted after nine days of torture.

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Reader Comments (13)

  • Ash
    Mar 17, 2015 - 11:36AM

    Soon there will be no assets left.Recommend

  • Shahid
    Mar 17, 2015 - 12:08PM

    If this was his own decison (highly doubt that), then he surely deserves praise. Those who kill at will should end up like this. They need to be told abt the consequences of killing innocent people, its not a joke anymore. I believe majority of MQM walas should follow suite.Recommend

  • Acorn Guts
    Mar 17, 2015 - 12:45PM


    For you.Recommend

  • Blunt
    Mar 17, 2015 - 2:52PM

    @Acorn Guts: For you To get them hired in FATA and BaluchistanRecommend

  • Raza
    Mar 17, 2015 - 3:44PM

    The moratorium was lifted to execute target killers and terrorists on death row. Not to deal with domestic crime convicts. These executions seems like a cover to prevent people’s minds to ask the question of “Why the executions have stopped?”. STOP PLAYING GAMES!!Recommend

  • nida
    Mar 17, 2015 - 3:56PM

    Ok you say these ppl have been executed, where is the proof? Learn from Iran. Execute in public, set fear, set example. Why killing behind close doors? Security threat? Grow up. Man upRecommend

  • Rex Minor
    Mar 17, 2015 - 5:35PM

    The Sharifs era will be remembered as the bloodiest state sponsored killings of its citizens in Pakistan history.

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • ufaquarian
    Mar 17, 2015 - 5:51PM

    @nida – I am not sure public executions are the way to go. However they can show blurred images on TV of execution after showing the pre execution picture.Recommend

  • Waseem
    Mar 17, 2015 - 7:33PM

    well done, but speed up.Recommend

  • Jibran
    Mar 17, 2015 - 7:50PM

    Total hogwash hatched by the civilian and military top brass! Please tell me which one of them is a terrorist? Anyone with affiliation to the banned outfits, LeJ, TTP? How is it going to make Pakistan more secure for it’s citizens?Recommend

  • shahs
    Mar 18, 2015 - 12:26AM

    Good. Law and courts had become a joke in Pakistan and were not being taken seriously.Recommend

  • RJ
    Mar 18, 2015 - 6:50AM

    What a crock – putting all petty criminals to death, but protecting all the hard core terrorists.Recommend

  • Owais U.
    Mar 18, 2015 - 11:23PM

    @Nida – what is the difference between your mindset and ISIS’s? You are calling to act upon an action that will make the public accept mob lynching as an acceptable lawful sentence (the Christian mob attack). Society is filled with both spectrums – good and bad. The bad are controlled for the good to survive. Our jails have been housing these criminals for crimes committed in the 90s, either they serve their life sentence and join back in the society, or fix the justice system such that one would think twice before committing heinous crimes.Recommend

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