Pak executes 12 death-row prisoners

ISLAMABAD :  Pakistan today executed 12 prisoners convicted under militancy and murders charges, the highest number of hangings in a single day after the government lifted the six-year-long moratorium on capital punishment.
They were hanged in jails of Jhang, Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi, Multan, Mianwali, Faisalabad and Guranwala, officials here said.
The latest executions brings to 39 the number of convicts hanged since Pakistan resumed executions on December 17 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 government decided to all capital offences.
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 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, execution of a convict was postponed at the eleventh hour today after his heirs produced an agreement between the plaintiff and defendant parties before the jail authorities. (AGENCIES)


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