KARACHI, July 25,2013 (Manzoor Chandio / UPI Next) — The fate of thousands of prisoners on death row in Pakistan is likely to be resolved July 30 with the election of the country’s next president, who is not likely to reinstate a moratorium on capital punishment.
That moratorium, imposed in 2008 by former Pakistan Peoples Party President Asif Ali Zardari, expired June 30. His successor is widely expected to be from the ruling Pakistani Muslim League-Nawaz Party. The president has the power to exercise the death penalty under the Pakistani Constitution.
Crimes punishable by death include murder, blasphemy, acts of terrorism, sabotage of sensitive installations, spreading hate against the armed forces and sedition.
Federal Minister of State Hakeem Baloch, defended his government’s policy of not renewing the moratorium on death penalty because “the ratio of crime in the country has increased since the moratorium was imposed.”