ISLAMABAD DEFENDS HANGINGS OF MILITANTS; SAYS EXTRAORDINARY CIRCUMSTANCES DEMAND EXTRAORDINARY MEASURES
AFP | Abdul Mannan
UNITED NATIONS/ISLAMABAD — Following UN chief Ban Ki-moon’s call for Pakistan to end capital punishment, a government spokesperson has said that while Pakistan respects the international community, the country is passing through extraordinary circumstances, which demand extraordinary measures to be taken.
The UN chief on Saturday pressed Pakistan to restore a moratorium on the death penalty the government lifted in terror cases following the brutal attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar.
Ban spoke with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday to express his condolences after the slaughter in Peshawar last week that left 150 people dead, including 134 children.
However, “while fully recognizing the difficult circumstances, the secretary general urged the government of Pakistan to stop the executions of convicts and re-impose the moratorium on the death penalty,” Ban’s office said in a statement.
Sharif promised that “all legal norms would be respected,” the statement added.
Later in the day, a spokesperson of the government in regard to the phone call made by Ban to the premier, said a peaceful Pakistan is in the best interest of the world.
The prime minister ended the six-year moratorium on the death penalty, reinstating it for terrorism-related cases, in the wake of the deadliest terror attack in Pakistani history.