A human rights group has ranked Pakistan the “fifth most prolific executioner” in the world, AP reported. Islamabad has awarded death sentences to 464 prisoners since it reinstated capital punishment after a Taliban attack on a school in 2014.
Justice Project Pakistan said the country followed China, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Iraq on the list of nations that executed the most number of people. The document said Islamabad had executed 44 people in 2017 so far and that 8,200 people were on death row. The province of Punjab had the highest number of executions, Dawn reported.
“Pakistan’s troubling and continued use of the death penalty has continuously fallen short of meeting its international human rights commitments and fair trial standards, as well as our own domestic laws,” JPP Executive Director Sarah Belal told PTI.
Demands from rights groups had prompted Pakistan to stop executions in 2008. “The use of the death penalty has failed to curb crime, including terrorism, but it is exceedingly used as a political tool, sometimes even as a jail overcrowding solution,” the report said.
It said the government has cited lifting the moratorium on the death sentence as a deterrent to “terrorist threats”, PTI reported.
On May 18, the ICJ had ordered Pakistan not to executed Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, who was sentenced to death by a military court on charges of espionage and terrorism in April 2017.