Pakistan Uses Executions As Political Weapon: Rights Group

Pakistan's use of the death penalty has failed to deter crime, is not being used to curb terrorism and is used as a political tool, the human rights group Justice Project Pakistan said

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Pakistan Uses Executions As Political Weapon: Rights Group

The rights group said Pakistan uses death penalty for alleged political gains. (File)

Islamabad:  A human rights watchdog on Friday accused Pakistan of using executions as a "political tool" - and even a means to deal with prison overcrowding. Justice Project Pakistan (JPP), which provides pro bono legal representation to vulnerable prisoners including those facing the death penalty, said the country had executed 465 convicts between December 2014 and May 2017 at a rate of 3.5 executions a week.

"Pakistan's use of the death penalty has failed to deter crime, is not being used to curb terrorism and is... used as a political tool, even sometimes as an overcrowding solution," said the JPP report.

The use of the death penalty was resumed following a deadly Taliban attack on a school in Peshawar in December 2014 in which more than 150 people - mostly children - were killed in Pakistan's deadliest-ever such assault.

Pakistan lifted its moratorium on executions following the attack and JPP said the country has since become "the fifth most prolific executioner in the world, following China, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Iraq".

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The report questioned the effectiveness of the death penalty in cutting serious crime. "Murder rates in Pakistan were already in decline before the moratorium was lifted, casting even more doubt on the already dubious relationship between the death penalty and reducing crime," the report stated.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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