Islamabad, Oct 4: Pakistan has scrapped plans to reinstate death penalty, following threats by Taliban to increase attacks in retaliation.
A moratorium signed in 2008 on capital punishment imposed by Pakistan’s previous government expired on June 30 and the country had been due to execute two jailed militants in August.
The execution plan was described by the Pakistani Taliban as an act of war.
Omar Hamid Khan, an interior ministry spokesman, said that Pakistan has decided to continue with the moratorium on capital punishment since the government is aware of its international commitments and is following them.
According to Dawn News, the Sharif government had originally said it wanted to reinstate the death penalty in a bid to crack down on criminals and militants.
The move was strongly criticised by international human rights groups.
In this respect, in August, the government had decided to hang four convicts on death row.
However, a temporary stay was ordered on these executions following objections from then president Asif Ali Zardari and rights groups.
Up to 8,000 people presently languish on death row in dozens of Pakistan’s overcrowded and violent jails.
Pakistan’s moratorium drew praise because of concerns its courts and police were too inept to ensure the accused a fair trial, the report added. (ANI)