Pakistan to execute 17 militants, 8,000 on death row
Islamabad, Dec 18: Seventeen convicted terrorists, whose appeals and mercy petitions have been dismissed, are to be executed in the next few days in Pakistan.
Sources said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has been apprised of the first group of militants to be hanged and that the process will take a few days. “Their death warrants will be issued and their relatives will be called in to have their last meeting with them,” The Express Tribune sources at the PM house as saying.
After a six-year moratorium on execution of death penalties, Prime Minister Sharif on Wednesday allowed capital punishment for those who have already been sentenced to death in terrorism cases.
The decision came following Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP)’s devastating attack on the Army Public School and College in Peshawar on Tuesday which killed 148, people most of them children.
Since the 2008 moratorium in Pakistan, only one man was executed in 2012. There are more than 8,000 convicted on death row; however, due to the moratorium their executions was not carried out.
The prime minister removed the moratorium on terror-related cases, but not on other offenses.
There are around 8,261 prisoners on death row in more than five dozen jails of the country, the report quoted officials at ministries of interior and law and justice and human rights as saying.
Around 30% of them are believed to be convicted under terrorism act by the special courts after 2003-04.
They pointed out that since 2004, Pakistani authorities have executed some 235 prisoners who were on death row and only a couple of culprits were hanged after 2008 following a moratorium on capital punishment.
In August 2013, the European Union (EU) warnedPakistan that lifting the moratorium will be viewed as a major setback in the 28-member bloc and possibly affect Islamabad’s quest for duty-free access to European markets.
Following Pakistan Peoples Party’s decision to place a ban on capital punishment, Prime Minister Sharif had directed the home departments of all provinces to halt executions till further orders.