Political and military leaders vow to rid Pakistan of terrorism
Peshawar (Pakistan) – Pakistan government has lifted the moratorium on the death penalty for terrorism cases on Wednesday, a day after Taliban gunmen attacked a school in Peshawar, killing 132 students and nine teachers.
“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. “Black warrants will be issued within a day or two,” he said, referring to execution orders.
The massacre of little children utterly shocked the nation and has put pressure on the government to firmly tackle the Pakistani Taliban insurgency as many people have called in for the death penalty to be restored.
A moratorium on the death penalty was imposed in 2008 and only one execution has taken place since then in November 2012.
More than 8,000 prisoners are believed to be on death row in Pakistan, about 10 percent convicted of offences labelled “terrorism”, said Justice Project Pakistan, a legal aid group. “Terrorism” has a very broad definition under Pakistani law. About 17,000 cases of “terrorism” are pending in special courts.
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. The decision was the consequence of the European Union’s pressure on Pakistan. The death penalty in Pakistan was suspended by the PPP government to prevent the economic sanctions on Pakistan from the European Union, according to a report.
PM Sharif vows to rid Pakistan, entire region of terrorism
Pakistan political and military leaders have vowed to wipe out the insurgency that has killed thousands of ordinary Pakistanis in recent years.
An All Parties Conference (APC) is in progress here at Peshawar under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on the current situation in the country. The assembled party leaders are expected to finalize a strategy to stop terrorist activities and “flush out all terrorists from the country,” reported Radio Pakistan, the state broadcaster.
The leaders of all the major parliamentary political parties and politicians are attending the conference. Imran Khan, Chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek Insaf, who has led months of protests and sit-ins seeking to oust the government, is also participating in the APC. Mr. Khan has also called off planned nationwide strike by his party activists set for Dec. 18 after the tragic incidence.