ISLAMABAD: The European Union (EU) has sharply reacted over lifting of the moratorium on the death penalty in Pakistan, and has demanded its immediate restoration on Wednesday.

"We believe that the death penalty is not an effective tool in the fight against terrorism," the EU envoy to Pakistan Lars-Gunnar Wigemark and other delegates said in a joint statement.

The envoy further added that the EU delegation regrets the decision of the Pakistani government to lift the moratorium on executions, which had been in place since 2008.

Read more: Nawaz removes moratorium on death penalty

Last week, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had approved the lifting of the moratorium on the death penalty after a Taliban attack in Peshawar killed 148 people, including more than 130 schoolchildren.

In the wake of the lifting of the moratorium on the death penalty, four death-row prisoners, who were convicted for involvement in an attack on former military ruler Gen (r) Pervez Musharraf, were executed last week on Sunday, at a district jail in Faisalabad.

Whereas, two former military men were also executed last week, in the Faisalabad district jail. Usman a former soldier of the army’s medical corps, was executed in relation to an attack on the headquarters of the Pakistan Army in 2009 in Rawalpindi. Arshad Mehmood, who was a trooper and also hanged, was among five convicts who were handed out the death sentence for their role in an Al Qaeda-inspired assassination attempt on Musharraf’s life in late 2003.

Also read: Four convicts in Musharraf attack case executed in Faisalabad

Ambassador Wigenmark also said that the EU remains opposed to the death penalty in all circumstances and expressed hope that the moratorium will be re-established at the earliest.

On the other hand, the envoy assured that the EU stands by Pakistan's side and shares its grief after the horrific attack on the school in Peshawar.

The EU Delegation also welcomes the resolve of Pakistanis to deal with the scourge of terrorism and violent extremism in all of its manifestation.

More on this: Militant siege of Peshawar school ends, 141 killed

At least 148 people, including 132 schoolchildren, died when Taliban gunmen had attacked the Army Public School in Peshawar on December 16.

Opinion

Editorial

On a leash
Updated 22 Feb, 2024

On a leash

Shehbaz will not find it easy to introduce the much-needed major changes to the economy without running into resistance.
Shameful veto
22 Feb, 2024

Shameful veto

THE US has scored a hat-trick by vetoing, for the third time, a resolution in the UN Security Council calling for an...
Truth under threat
22 Feb, 2024

Truth under threat

AS WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange mounts a last-ditch effort against being extradited from the UK to the US, one...
Silencing the public
Updated 21 Feb, 2024

Silencing the public

Acting as if it is unaccountable, it is now curtailing citizens’ digital rights without even bothering to come up with a justification.
Fitch’s concern
Updated 21 Feb, 2024

Fitch’s concern

It warns that “near-term political uncertainty may complicate the country’s efforts to secure a financing agreement with the IMF to succeed the Stand-by Arrangement”.
Zoo zealotry
Updated 21 Feb, 2024

Zoo zealotry

IN a bizarre twist of faith and fur, the Indian right-wing Hindu nationalist group, Vishwa Hindu Parishad, has...