LAHORE: President Mumnoon Husain has rejected mercy petitions of 65 condemned prisoners, including a woman, since the government lifted moratorium on death sentence following the Peshawar Army School tragedy.
Total 5,408 prisoners are on death row in Punjab.
The only woman whose mercy petition had been rejected by the Supreme Court and the president of Pakistan is Kaneezan Bibi of Lahore, a convict in a murder case.
All these 65 condemned prisoners, including Kaneezan Bibi, will be executed after Ramazan as their pleas have been rejected by the apex court.
Kaneezan Bibi will be the 9th woman to be hanged in Pakistan. Earlier, eight women were executed in the District Jail, Jhelum, on Oct 28, 1985.
A senior official of the Punjab Prisons Department told Dawn that the execution of Kaneezan Bibi was not being done because of her unstable mental condition.
“She may not be executed even after Eidul Fitr as she is a mental patient and was admitted to Mental Hospital,” the official said.
According to the official documents (copy available with Dawn ), pleas of 47 other women on death row were pending in different courts.
The petitions of total 42 condemned female prisoners were pending in high courts, four in Supreme Court while one woman’s mercy plea is awaiting president’s decision.
Out of these 17 women are on death row in Lahore Region, eight in Rawalpindi, nine in Faisalabad and 13 in Multan, according to the official figures.
The documents said petitions of the 65 condemned prisoners, including Kaneezan Bibi, had been turned down by apex court and later also by the president.
Similarly, some 5,361 men were on death row in Punjab. A majority of them -1,999 - are in Lahore Region, 992 in Rawalpindi, 1,272 in Faisalabad and 1,098 in Multan. And mercy petition of one male condemned prisoner was pending with the army’s GHQ.
The government had on June 13 suspended execution of all black warrants during Ramazan. The executions will be resumed after Eidul Fitr.
Meanwhile, the documents show that various high courts in Punjab have yet to decide mercy petitions of 4,131 condemned prisoners, Supreme Court 863 and the President of Pakistan is to decide some 302 petitions.
The documents further show a total of 151 condemned prisoners have been hanged in Punjab since lifting of the moratorium. Of these, six were convicted by military courts.
Published in Dawn, June 23rd, 2015