LAHORE: Arrangements were made to execute another convicted terrorist, Ikramul Haq alias Akram Lahori, the co-founder of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, at Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat Jail. However, he was not sent to gallows after last-minute pardon by victim family.
Earlier, Lahori was scheduled to be hanged at 6am today; however, his family members rushed to the jail to stay the execution.
Akram Lahori and Ikramul Haq two different persons?
The counsel and brother of Ikramul Haq reached outside the jail hours before the hanging. They said Akram Lahori is someone else, adding there is only one murder case against Ikramul Haq.
They further said the aggrieved party has come to terms with them and pardoned Haq.
The two sides approached the magistrate present at the jail with the settlement deed. The two parties requested the magistrate to stay the hanging.
Security has been heightened in and around the jail in the run up to the hanging. All arrangements have been completed to send the operative of a banned outfit to gallows.
It should be mentioned here that Lahori was put on death row for involvement in sectarian killings including an Iranian diplomat Sadiq Gunji and Imtiaz Haider, brother of former interior Minister Moinuddin Haider. Also, as many as 30 other cases of murder were registered against him.
Two convicts hanged on Wednesday
Earlier yesterday, two convicts— Ghulam Bashir alias Doctor and Ahmed Ali alias Sheesh Nag—were executed in Multan’s central jail. Executioner Sabir Masih was called in from Lahore for the double hangings in Multan.
The yesterday’s hangings raised the death toll to nine after Peshawar massacre which left over 100 schoolchildren dead.
Of the six executed were found guilty of assassination attempt on then-military ruler Musharraf in Rawalpindi in 2003. The seventh was penalized on account of a 2009 attack on the Army headquarters.
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.