Pakistan hangs 465 people since 2014

Becomes the fifth most prolific executioner in the world

(By Wikimedia Commons)

NEW DELHI (Taiwan News) -- Even though the death penalty has failed to curb crime, including terrorism, it is exceedingly used as a political tool, sometimes even as a jail overcrowding solution in Pakistan, said Justice Project Pakistan (JPP), an organization working for prisoners' rights. According to its report, the country executed 465 people since the lifting of a moratorium on death penalty in 2014, thus becoming the "fifth most prolific executioner" in the world.

"It is a high number of the executions that made Pakistan 'fifth most prolific executioner' in the world, following China, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Iraq," the JPP report said.

A data analysis by the organization showed a total of 465 prisoners have been executed during the last two-and-a-half- years since the country lifted moratorium on executions.

It said that the Pakistani government justifies the lifting of the moratorium by claiming it is necessary to deter the terrorist threat to the country.

"The government is mostly hanging terrorists through military courts in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and through anti- terrorism courts in Sindh," the report said.

The maximum number of executions were carried out in the eastern Punjab province which accounts for 83 percent of total executions, and 89 per cent of total death sentences.

JPP Executive Director Sarah Belal said: "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."

"The death penalty is not an effective tool to curb militancy and crime," she said, adding that it is time for the stakeholders to commit to genuine reforms in the criminal justice system, and until it is done, to restore the moratorium on the death penalty.

Pakistan lifted a self-imposed moratorium on death penalty in terror related cases in December 2014 after Taliban militants massacred at least 150 people, mostly students, at an army-run school in Peshawar.