PAKISTAN: PPP STOPS EXECUTION OF DEATH PENALTY IN SINDH
July 25, 2012: In Pakistan, the Sindh law and prisons minister, Ayaz Soomro, announced that there will be no execution of death penalties in the provinceâ€™s prisons at least until the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) government completes its term in March, 2013.
A de facto moratorium on capital punishment has been in place since 2008 when the PPP assumed power. However, Soomroâ€™s statement came as a reassurance for the concerns voiced during a recent European Union (EU) delegation visit which expected legal cover against the death penalty.
Soomro said that President Asif Ali Zardari had sought recommendations from all the departments of law on the issue of death penalty. â€śWe [Sindh province] suggested that the death penalty should be converted into life imprisonment.â€ť
According to him, hundreds of death row inmates await appeals against their conviction which have been pending hearing in the higher courts. In his oblique criticism of the judiciary, Soomro advised the judges to not only take up the high-profile political cases but also pay attention to those cases which deal with prisoners who have been languishing in jail without conviction. (Sources: The Express Tribune, 26/07/2012)