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Pakistan prepares to execute 55 death row inmates

The mercy appeals of 55 death row inmates have been dismissed by the Supreme Court and President Mamnoon Hussain.

By: Press Trust of India | Islamabad | Updated: December 18, 2014 5:44:55 pm

Pakistan is preparing to execute 55 inmates on death row after the country ended the moratorium on death penalty in terror-related cases following the horrific attack on a school in Peshawar that killed 148 people, mostly children.

There are at least 522 criminals sentenced to death in terror and other cases related to serious crimes in the country, including 11 who were convicted by a military court.

The country’s Punjab province has the highest number of death row convicts with 465, followed by Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa with 30, Sindh with 14 and Baluchistan with 13, the News reported on Thursday.

The mercy appeals of 55 death row inmates have been dismissed by the Supreme Court and President Mamnoon Hussain.

A de facto moratorium on civilian executions has been in place in Pakistan since 2008. Pakistan ended its moratorium on the death penalty in terror-related cases on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif told an All Parties Conference in Peshawar on Wednesday that the moratorium on death penalty had been lifted.

“Yesterday’s incident is extremely tragic. These sacrifices will not go wasted and we all want complete elimination of terrorism from Pakistan,” Sharif said.

The decision to lift the ban was made following the carnage at the Army Public School in Peshawar. Taliban militants stormed the army-run school on Tuesday, fired indiscriminately and killed 148 people, most of them children.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Interior Ministry today forwarded 120 mercy appeals to the premier for consideration, the Express Tribune reported.

The report also said 17 convicted terrorists, whose appeals and mercy petitions have been dismissed, will be executed in the next few days.

“Their death warrants will be issued and their relatives will be called in to have their last meeting with them,” it said.

Pakistan is feared to lose a concessionary trade deal with the EU after resuming hangings. Some 150 countries have abolished the death penalty or no longer carry out executions.

According to the interior ministry estimates more than 8,000 death row prisoners are in Pakistan who have already exhausted all options and would be hanged within weeks if the government allowed the executions.

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