ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has rejected the European Union's (EU) concerns over the death penalty and said Pakistan is not violating international laws, the Foreign Office said on Friday.
"Only such convicts are being hanged who are involved in heinous crimes," said FO spokesman Qazi Khalilullah during a news briefing in Islamabad.
The awarding of death sentences comes under international laws and it is Pakistan's internal affair, the spokesperson added.
Yesterday, the EU had expressed concern over increasing executions in Pakistan and demanded of the government to reinstate the moratorium on death penalty and fully respect all of its international obligations.
EU had also expressed concern over Aftab Bahadur's hanging and said his petition — alleging his juvenile status at the time of the crime and torture while in custody to extract a confession — was not given due consideration.
The EU spokesperson said that the EU is opposed to capital punishment in all cases and has consistently called for its universal abolition.
Pakistan committed to enhance relations with all neighbours
According to a report published on Radio Pakistan, the spokesman also said that Pakistan is committed to enhance relations with all neighbours as per vision of the Prime Minister
He said there are serious issues between Pakistan and India that need dialogue, which has been unilaterally suspended by India.
The spokesperson further said that as far as Pakistan is concerned it is committed to the dialogue process. and to the peaceful resolution of all disputes but that needs to be reciprocated from the other side.
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The spokesperson further said that the matter regarding Indian threats and confrontation was also discussed in a conference of Pakistani envoys in Islamabad.
— An earlier version of the story quoted Radio Pakistan attributing some remarks to the FO spokesperson which were not made. This story has been updated according to the revisions made by Radio Pakistan.
Completing PCEC is significant for ensuring sustainable development
The conference with Pakistani envoys also reviewed Pakistan's foreign policy and proposals to make it productive. A detailed discussion regarding the Pakistan-China Economic Corridor (PCEC) along with various other projects done with Central Asian co-operation also took place, Khallilullah said.
The spokesperson added that completing the PCEC is significant for ensuring quick and sustainable development in Pakistan.
Pakistan will never allow its soil to be used against Afghanistan
Responding to a question, Khallilullah said that Pakistan considers Afghanistan's enemies as its own and will never allow its soil to be used against Afghanistan. He reiterated that both countries enjoy a cordial relationship which will flourish in the future. Khallilullah added that Pakistan and Afghanistan agreed not to allow their soils to be used against each other.
Furthermore, the spokesman did not comment over closure of the offices of international aid group Save the Children and said Interior Ministry is looking after the matter.