Death penalty back in Pakistan
Islamabad: The newly-elected Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) government has ended a suspension on executions, an official told on Thursday.
The Dawn reports that all executions must be approved by the President of Pakistan.
Meanwhile, the Pakistan People`s Party (PPP) suspension on the death penalty, issued in 2008, expired on June 30.
Interior Ministry spokesman Umer Hameed said that the new government has decided to deal with all cases of execution on merit.
Polly Truscott, Amnesty International deputy Asia Pacific director, said that it is a `shocking and retrograde step`.
According to the London-based rights group, an estimated more than 8,000 prisoners are on death row in Pakistani jails and most of them have exhausted the appeals process.
Truscott further added that Pakistan`s crowded prisons lack basic facilities for inmates and the country normally deals harshly with prisoners. It also suffers daily militant attacks blamed on extremists linked to the Taliban and al Qaeda, the report said.
The Interior Ministry spokesman said that up to 450 convicts are awaiting execution and their cases will be examined adding that the government will show sympathy towards convicts like women and the elderly.
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