MULTAN: Pakistan hanged eight more convicted murderers yesterday, a day ahead of the one-year anniversary of an extremist attack that prompted authorities to lift a six-year moratorium on the death penalty.
Pakistan reinstated executions last year as part of a crackdown on extremism after Taliban attackers gunned down more than 150 people, most of them children, at an army-run school in the restive northwest on December 16, 2014.
The latest executions took place in various locations in Punjab province. “Two convicts on death row were hanged in Multan, two each in Bahawalpur and Gujrat and one each in Attock and Dera Ghazi Khan,” Chaudhry Arshad Saeed, an adviser to Punjab’s chief minister for prison affairs said. Hangings were initially reinstated only for those convicted of terrorism, but in March they were extended to all capital offences.
No official figures on the number of executions carried out since the moratorium was lifted are available. Rights activists recently put the number at around 300. Supporters argue that executions are the only effective way to deal with the scourge of militancy in the country. But critics say the legal system is unjust, with rampant police torture and poor representation for victims during unfair trials, while the majority of those who are hanged are not convicted of terror charges.— AFP