Islamabad | Pakistan today executed nine death-row prisoners, a day after 12 others were hanged, taking the number of executions to 48 since the country lifted the 2008 moratorium on capital punishment after the Peshawar school massacre. The nine were hanged in various jails across Punjab, including Lahore, Faisalabad, Rawalpindi, Jhang, Mianwali and Attock, officials said.
Pakistan yesterday executed 12 prisoners convicted under militancy and murder charges, the highest number of hangings in a single day. The latest executions bring to 48 the number of convicts hanged since Pakistan resumed executions on December 17, a day after a Taliban attack on an army school in Peshawar that killed more than 150 people, mostly children.
There are more than 8,000 death row prisoners in the country. Initially executions were limited to terrorism offences but on March 10 the government decided to implement death penalty in all cases following the Peshawar school massacre in December. The moratorium on executions had been in place since a democratic government took power from a military ruler in 2008.
Supporters of the execution argue that it is the only option to deal with the scourge of militancy but human rights group are highly critical of it. Rights groups say many convictions are highly unreliable in Pakistan where criminal justice system barely functions and torture has often been used to extract confessions.
Meanwhile, the EU today asked Pakistan to stop all executions after the country resumed death penalty last year after a self-imposed moratorium since 2008.