Not a single civilian has been hanged in Pakistan since a presidential order in 2008 imposed a moratorium on the death penalty.—AP/File Photo
Not a single civilian has been hanged in Pakistan since a presidential order in 2008 imposed a moratorium on the death penalty.—AP/File Photo

KARACHI: Pakistani authorities will hang four convicts on death row later this month, ending a five year stay on the execution of death sentences ordered by the outgoing president, officials said Thursday.

Inspector General Sindh prisons Nusrat Mangan told Dawn.com that four condemned prisoners, including two members of the banned sectarian outfit Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), would be executed at the Sukkur jail and Karachi Central prison on August 20, 21 and 22.

Mangan said none of the four prisoners had approached the superior courts for a review of their sentences and would therefore be executed as per the orders of the Anti-Terrorist Court (ATC). He said one of the condemned terrorists was awarded the death sentence in six cases, while another was awaiting the death penalty in four cases.

The executions will be the first to be carried out in Pakistan in five years. The Sukkur jail has not carried out a death sentence in 11 years.

Under the previous government led by the Pakistan People's Party (PPP), no one except a soldier convicted by court martial was put to death since 2008. The Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N), which came to power in the May 11 general elections, ended the moratorium imposed by President Asif Ali Zardari in 2008.

The PML-N led government in July had announced there would no longer be any general amnesty for the convicts awaiting execution, raising concerns from human rights activists and opponents of capital punishment.

London-based rights group Amnesty International had called the new government's decision “a shocking and retrograde step, putting thousands of people's lives at risk”.

However, a recent demand by the legal fraternity in Karachi backed by the chief justice of the Sindh High Court had called for swift executions of the hundreds of convicts on death row.

On June 3, CJ SHC Mushir Alam said that the law and order situation will not improve unless the convicts on death row are executed. The chief justice said punishments were not executed due to external pressure, and that it was the responsibility of the government to execute the convicts who were handed down capital punishment by the courts.

According to estimates by Amnesty, Pakistan has over 8,000 prisoners on death row, most of whom have exhausted the appeals process.

IG Sindh prisons Nusrat Mangan told Dawn.com that more than 350 prisoners in Sindh have been awarded the death sentence and are awaiting execution. Jail sources said 54 cases were in currently pending review in the superior courts, while 23 mercy petitions were pending before the president. President Asif Ali Zardari has not yet taken a decision on any of the 23 cases.

Zardari formally steps down on Sept 9 after which president-elect Manmoon Hussain will take over the office of the president.

By 2012, at least 140 countries in the world had abolished the death penalty either in law or in practice – either by declaring an official moratorium or by refraining from carrying out executions.


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Comments (36) (Closed)


Khurram Khalid
Aug 09, 2013 12:14am

we condemn states that kill!

Hasan
Aug 09, 2013 12:17am

If they had approached the superior courts for a review of their sentences, it would not be one's surprize if all of them would be forgiven due to so called lack of evidence. Our Justice system is week and these criminals are much powerful therefore for cleasing of our soceity it is mandatory that these convicted criminals must be dealt with accordance of law. And if our laws of the land permit capital punishment for hideous crimes then law of the land must prevail.

Parvez
Aug 09, 2013 12:28am

.........why wait upto 20th.............another jail break in the making ??

Shaukat Alvi
Aug 09, 2013 01:22am

In Zardari time hundreds were killed without committing any crime, But criminals were protected in the jails. So no worry we still got rid of population to balance the extra population Growth. Mandatory family planning. GOOD JOB PPP, and Now Nawaz is doing both ways, killing all around, my God save my nation from facing cruel people like present leaders.

muzammil ullah khan
Aug 09, 2013 02:50am

What about the murderer of Governor Salman Tasir who has been awarded death sentence ? Why cant he be the highest on the priority list of those to be hanged ?

Asif Mahmood
Aug 09, 2013 04:20am

Thanks all who's like story

AKMalick
Aug 09, 2013 04:38am

No regrets, these criminals are involved in multiple murders, the don't deserve pity. Hang them & also find their leaders, hang them too.

asheikh
Aug 09, 2013 07:36am

Perhaps the Human Rights folks should go and fight with Taliban.

Iqbal
Aug 09, 2013 09:09am

Good Riddance. We need executions more than anything in order to be effective against Terrorism. Most importantly, however, is the need to be sure which in many of the cases given the brazen nature of attacks is not too difficult. Even a shred of doubt should be converted to Life Imprisonment..

Muhammad Musa
Aug 09, 2013 09:10am

Ask whose son or daughter, whose husband or wife, whose brother or sister has been murdered, if they say death sentence should be abolished, abolish it.

Azam
Aug 09, 2013 11:29am

Hang them in public. Especially any terrorist should be hanged in public.

Tariq
Aug 09, 2013 01:58pm

There isn't sufficient deterrent for the "would be criminal minority". There needs to be exemplary punishment for those cases where there is no doubt in the convicted individuals conviction then the law must pass down proportional punishment to fit the crime.

Zamard Khan
Aug 09, 2013 02:56pm

I think it is a very good decision..!! if the verdicts of the courts are not carried out the ultimate result would damage the the image of court as well as no one will learn a lesson. This is a good time to make the example the result of which slowly but surely lead to positive changes in current security and order situation, which is very disappointing and frustrating.

Dr. Mazhar
Aug 09, 2013 03:18pm

hang all lashkar-e-jhangvi to death

Saad(DXB)
Aug 09, 2013 03:18pm

While the abolition of capital punishment might work in the more civilized world where they have constructed special maximum security prisons, the jails in Pakistan were built in the British days and are vulnerable to audacious jail breaks as seen in the last few years. Moreover, the terrorists in Pakistan will never be discouraged till a few of their comrades are hung. This is a step in the right direction and perhaps the only way to eradicate terrorism from our society. These terrorists kill dozens of innocents and should be repaid in kind... After all, even the Bible talks about eye for eye punishment.

Shivanshu Goswami
Aug 09, 2013 04:10pm

@Khurram Khalid: In order to secure humane thought, peace and kindness sometimes its necessary to send a message to the beasts.

You cannot hide behind your slogans of peace when they come to behead you. The tender flower of civilization blossoms under the iron frame of lawfully channelized strength. We should not regret hanging these animals. Consider them Eid sacrifice.

Ajmal_Kasab

Yawar
Aug 09, 2013 05:04pm

We live in the Islamic State of Pakistan. So why should murder not be punishable by death?

Gerry D'Cunha
Aug 09, 2013 05:14pm

@muzammil ullah khan: my friend, how can an 'islamic hero' who killed salman tasir in the name of islam be executed - he is regarded as the 'living martyr' in the eyes of the islamist and religious extremists - free hand to kill in the name of 'islam'

Khurram Khalid
Aug 09, 2013 09:00pm

there are a very few democratic countries that permit capital punishment. pakistan also must abolish this practice as it is wrong to kill people no matter even if it is done by a state.

Nadeem Chaudhry
Aug 09, 2013 09:26pm

I hate to be this vindictive, but for every one innocent citizen killed, the government should hang four extremists .

khalid sheikh
Aug 09, 2013 10:53pm

@Shaukat Alvi: Well said Shaukat.My heart bleeds when I read the Bloody news every day.

Agha Asad Raza
Aug 09, 2013 10:58pm

Good! There should be more of these non-Muslims hung! Same should be done with the murderer of the former governor of Punjab.

taimur
Aug 09, 2013 11:32pm

law and order situation in the country nicessitates executions. it is good dicision i must say and appreciate it. the crime graph is going high day by day due to general amnesty who is also illegal as per islam. quran says amesty cant be given by head of the state with out the consent of the next of kin.here in pakistan one would kill son infront of a father and murderer will be given amnesty by the president. is this a justice?

Rashid
Aug 10, 2013 02:05am

When carrying an execution, states are not necessarily murdering. The argument that state should not "commit" the same crime as the murderer, is fundamentally flawed. What is a murder after all? Is it simply taking the life of an individual no matter what? If that is the case, then one simply loses the right of defence, because, it is plausible that life of another individual is taken while defending oneself in certain situations. How do we then define murder? It is taking the life of an individual "unjustly". Yes, there can be arguments and discussions on what "unjust" would be, nonetheless, to achieve objectivity, this definition needs to be anchored somewhere.

Hence, if a perpetrator takes life of another individual(s), the execution by state in response to this act of the criminal is not the same as the criminal murdering an innocent human being, simply because the underlying premises of both the actions are absolutely unequal.

The above argument addresses the contention that state is committing the same act as the criminal by implementing capital punishment. Even if it is accepted that state is not indulging in an action of same moral magnitude, is it indigenously valid to take life of an individual no matter what heinous crimes they have carried out? This would be another dimension of the same topic and is not addressed above.

sikander
Aug 10, 2013 09:04am

Hang all terrorists in public and make our country free of violence and killing. We need a great sweep.

Crimson
Aug 10, 2013 10:57am

"Take not life, which God has made sacred, except by way of justice and law." [6:151]

Syed A. Mateen
Aug 10, 2013 01:09pm

I have no mercy in my heart about the prisoners who have been convicted for the death sentence by the relevant courts.

These militants and terrorists have killed hundreds and thousands of people in target killings and suicide attacks. The innocent people who were killed were not only the civilians, but include the high ranking military officials, our Jawans of Pakistan Army and Navy.

The government should not stop after few hangings, but it should continue upto the last condemned prisoner, as these militants and terrorists have plaved havoc in the country, due to which foreign investments are not pouring in, factories have been shut down, industrialists have moved to other countries and rate of unemployment have increased manifolds.

Let the Amnesty International should raise hue and cry, but for the sake of providing justice and relief to hundreds and thousands of family members of the people who died at the hands of these militants and terroristd, it has become a must that no murderer should be allowed to remain alive on this earth, when he was having no mercy in his heartbat the time of killing the innocent Pakistanis.

Ali Nasir Dharejo
Aug 10, 2013 02:34pm

The death penalty as Hanging inside theek jail, is only a killing of criminal but to kill crime, this hanging must be staged at some public place like a main street in city to stop terror.

But death sentence should only go to habitual killers or terrorists only... but after eliminating corruption in judicial system.

Untill the courts have no clean image of no corruption, all fines imposed would remain doubtful.

Kamran Khan
Aug 10, 2013 03:04pm

this is good. please hang them as soon as possible. carry on

SK
Aug 10, 2013 03:11pm

@Khurram Khalid:

Pray that no harms comes to you or your loved ones from these merciless criminals who take innocent lives for mullahs imaginary promised for reward in hereafter. God forbid if your loved ones get killed or maimed for being in a wrong place at a wrong time by a maniac blowing himself or a bomb tied to motorbike or vehicle kick off blowing away innocent passer by along with your loved ones. You would definitely change your mind my friend.

JMS
Aug 10, 2013 04:23pm

@muzammil ullah khan: Terrorists should be the first ones that should be hanged. And publicly .

Gerry D'Cunha
Aug 10, 2013 05:22pm

@Dr. Mazhar: lashkar-e-jhangvi are no doubt the culprits but what about the religious groups who support their activities and think their act is fulfilling 'islam's' teaching on 'jihad'

Mohammed ishaq
Aug 10, 2013 07:55pm

Can we please hang all of them ASAP ideally within 3 month period and ensure they are shown live on TV to teach others an example.

Naseem Altaf
Aug 11, 2013 11:14am

The opponents of the execution of the death penalty awarded by Civilian courts after due process of the laws enacted by the national parliament should first work on the perpetrators of retail and wholesale murder of innocent citizenry ; and obtain their commitment that from today on ,they will not carry out targeted killings, Suicide bombings, ransom-abductions &killings , killing for miss-perceived honor/ dignity etc. If they can convince these terrorists to stop their killings, we shall stop the execution of the capital punishment awarded by our courts ; after the murderers put down their bombs,guns ,and rockets,our parliament will pass amnesty for past crimes not the truly repentants.

irfanzone
Aug 11, 2013 11:30am

Now I understand Eye to Eye ...... He is a visionary comrades who wanted to say Eye for an Eye

Naseem Altaf
Aug 11, 2013 11:43am

@Khurram Khalid: But you will not condemn the terrorists that kill innocent citizens ,by the dozens :(though even one innocent life taken away, is TOO MUCH).