Executions of death row prisoners have resumed after a brief hiatus during Ramazan. Two murder convicts on death row were hanged at the Multan Central Jail on Monday.
Additional Jail Superintendent Chaudhry Sultan Ali told The Express Tribune that Farooq Babar, son of Aslam, and Karim Nawaz, son of Muhammad Nawaz, were hanged early in the morning. Their bodies were later handed over to their families.
He said Babar had been sentenced to death by a speedy trial court in 1998. He had murdered a man who had failed return the money he had borrowed from him. Nawaz was arrested in 1999 for killing a rival in Bohar Gate, Multan. He was sentenced to death by a district and sessions judge.
Ali said mercy pleas by both had been rejected by the president after confirmation of their sentences from high courts and the Supreme Court.
The additional jail superintendent said two prisoners on death row were scheduled to be hanged at the prison on Tuesday (today) and Wednesday.
Since the moratorium on executions was lifted, in the aftermath of the Army Public School, Peshawar, terrorist attack, 182 death row prisoners have been hanged in the country – 23 of them had been convicted of terrorism.
Of those convicted of terrorism, 11 had been tried under the Anti-Terrorism Act and 12 by the Field General Court Martial. Eight people have been hanged for attacking former president Pervaiz Musharraf, one was hanged for attacking the US Consulate in Karachi and one for attacking the Rawalpindi GHQ. Of those convicted by the Field General Court Martial, three were former officials of the Pakistan Air force, three of the Pakistan Army, one was the son of a retired army official and one was an army sepoy who had killed a colleague while on duty in Peshawar Cantt.
Of the 11 people convicted by Anti-Terrorism Courts, eight belonged to the Lashkar-i-Jhangvi/Sipah-i-Sahaba and were convicted of sectarian killings. Three had tried to hijack a PIA plane traveling from Turbat to Karachi in 1998.
So far, the Punjab has been leading in the number of executions, 55, followed by Sindh, 15, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 5, Balochistan, 5, and Mirpur Central Jail (AJK), 2. As many as 8,000 prisoners have been languishing in various prisons of the country, waiting for black warrants to be issued - many of them have been in jails since the ‘90s.
As many as 5,472 prisoners on death row, including 47 women, have been incarcerated in the 25 prisons in the Punjab. Of these, 44 have exhausted all avenues of appeals. Their fate lies in the hands of jail authorities who will decide when to obtain black warrants for them from the respective trial courts.
Clemency appeals of 392 convicts are pending with the president while one appeal is currently pending before the GHQ. No appeal from the Punjab is pending before Federal Shariat Court, however 875 appeals are pending before the Supreme Court and 4,162 appeals are pending before the Lahore High Court.
Kanizan Bibi is the only woman on death row whose appeals have been exhausted and is waiting for her turn to be hanged. She is presently at Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat Jail and was admitted to the Mental Hospital.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 28th, 2015.
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