Khyber PakhtoonKhuwa

Provinces get death penalty orders; Punjab prepares gallows

LAHORE: The Ministry of Interior on Thursday issued orders to all the four provinces regarding implementation of death sentence to convicted criminals, ARY News reported.

Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif also presided over a meeting today to review the situation. Sources told that the Punjab government had ordered making the gallows functional in all its jails.

The interior ministry has also recommended the reduction in implementation of death sentence from 21 to 14 days. The summary in this regard has also been sent to the respective chief executives of the province.

Death penalties restoration

Chief Justice Nasirul Mulk, while addressing a mourning reference in Peshawar, said a meeting will be called soon to discuss the restoration of death penalties in Islamabad.

The CJP made these remarks during his visit to the Peshawar High Court.

Prime Minister gives the go-ahead

“The prime minister has approved abolishment of moratorium on the execution of death penalty in terrorism-related cases,” an official from Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s office said.

Hanging remains on the Pakistani statute book and judges continue to pass the death sentence, but a de facto moratorium on civilian executions has been in place since 2008.

Only one person has been executed since then, a soldier convicted by a court martial and hanged in November 2012.

Rights campaign group Amnesty International estimates that Pakistan has more than 8,000 prisoners on death row, most of whom have exhausted the appeals process.

In September a judge ordered a prisoner to be hanged over a murder committed in 1996, but the sentence has not yet been carried out.

In June last year Sharif’s newly elected government scrapped the moratorium in a bid to crack down on criminals and Islamist militants.

But two weeks later it announced a further stay of executions after an outcry from rights groups and the then-president Asif Ali Zardari.

European Union officials indicated last year that if Pakistan resumed executions, it could jeopardise a highly prized trade deal with the bloc.

An EU rights delegation warned it would be seen as a “major setback” if Pakistan restarted hangings.

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