Today’s execution pushed to 19 the number of executions carried out since Pakistan lifted a six-year moratorium on the death penalty in mid-December.
Lahori’s execution was postponed earlier
It should be mentioned here that Lahori was scheduled to be hanged at 6am on January 8; however, his family members rushed to the jail to stay the execution by striking a compromise agreement with the grieved party.
Lahori’s lawyer, Advocate Ghulam Mustafa Mangan said the victims finally pardoned Haq before the magistrate and requested him to stay the hanging.
“The hanging was canceled after we reached a compromise with the complainant’s family. They have pardoned my client,” Mangan said, without giving further details of the deal.
His family members approached the magistrate in jail, asserting that Ikramul Haq has been mistaken for another terrorist Akram Lahori, adding the two are different persons.
Inspecting the agreement between the two sides, the magistrate put on hold his execution for the time being. In ensuing judicial proceedings, a local Faisalabad court upheld the verdict regarding his execution on January 13, when his death warrants were re-issued.
It is pertinent to note here that an anti-terrorism court convicted him in 2004 for killing a Shiite Muslim three years earlier.
Ikramul Haq killed a man, Nayyar Abbass in Shorkot.
PM lifts ban on death penalty
The Peshawar incident forced the government to lift the six-year moratorium on capital punishment. Hours after the Taliban attack that left 140 schoolchildren dead, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced to end the ban on death penalty.
Pakistani officials said they plan to hang 500 convicts in the coming weeks, drawing protest from international human rights campaigners. The United Nations, European Union, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch also called on Pakistan to re-impose its moratorium on capital punishment.
Intriguing facts about death row inmates
There are as many as 8,261 prisoners in over five dozen jails across Pakistan waiting for death penalty. Of them, at least 30 percent prisoners were confined over terrorism counts.
Ever since 2004, 235 prisoners breathed their last at the gallows. But, only two prisoners were hanged after the imposition of moratorium on capital punishment in 2008.
In August 2013, the European Union again made it clear to Islamabad in categorical terms that it should continue with the ban, if it seeks the corridors in Europe markets for its exports. Accordingly, the incumbent government acceded to the decision made by the former rulers.
According to Crisis Management Cell, there are 991 convicts in the country. Of them, 334 are in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 156 in Balochistan and 25 death row prisoners are in Gilgit-Baltistan.
According to Law Ministry, there are at least 595 murder cases pending before Lahore High Court (LHC), 1094 cases in Sindh High Court (SHC) and 631 cases are pending before Peshawar High Court.