Pakistan halts executions of 468 prisoners

Eurasia News

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)-led federal government has halted the executions of 468 prisoners including terrorists and others who were awarded capital punishment by military courts, the sources in the Interior Ministry said, Dispatch News Desk reported.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif held a meeting with President Asif Ali Zardari last week during which the President told the premier that his government had stopped implementation of death sentences of several accused terrorists and criminals for five years as per the party policy, sources said.

Following the consultation with the President, the Prime Minister postponed the capital punishments till further orders, they said.

Moreover, according to the sources there is a pressure on Pakistan from European Union (EU) to scrap the law permitting the death sentence. The EU has set this demand as a condition to give Pakistani exports a priority status.

On August 12, the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) also warned the PML-N-led government against going ahead with the execution of its members who are prisoners on death row and threatened to wage war against PML-N if the government ignored its warning.

“If the prisoners are executed it would amount to a declaration of war on the part of the PML-N’s (ruling party) government,” said a pamphlet distributed by the Taliban in the tribal regions of North and South Waziristan bordering Afghanistan.