Pakistan rejects UN, EU calls to halt executions

Pakistan rejects UN, EU calls to halt executions

The Pakistan government has rejected calls by the UN and the European Union (EU) to revive moratorium on execution of convicts, a media report said.

"Capital punishment for terrorists did not violate international law," Dawn quoted a Pakistan government spokesperson as saying Sunday.

"Pakistan respects the international community, but the country is passing through extraordinary circumstances, which demand extraordinary measures to be taken," a government spokesman said, referring to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's conversation with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif December 25 in which the UN chief called for halting executions.

The EU too had called for halting executions. The spokesperson said that a "peaceful Pakistan is in the best interest of the world".

Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam tweeted: "Pakistan is cognizant of its obligations under UN Human Rights Conventions/Covenants. Execution of terrorists violates no international law."

On Dec 25, Sharif assured Ban Ki-moon that all legal norms would be respected while handing down sentences to terrorists and during the execution of the sentences.

Pakistan lifted the moratorium on executions following Dec 16 Peshawar school carnage by Taliban, in which over 140 people, most of them schoolchildren, were killed.
So far six people, convicted of attacks on army headquarters and the former president Pervez Musharraf, have been executed.

Pakistan has some 8,000 death-row inmates awaiting execution. But the government says that moratorium has only been lifted in terrorism cases. The number of those convicted in terrorism-related offences is about 170.

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