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Thursday, December 18, 2014, Poush 4, 1421, Safar 24, 1436 Hijr

Aftermath Of School Carnage
Nawaz lifts ban on death penalty
Published : Thursday, 18 December, 2014,  Time : 12:00 AM,  View Count : 32
Islamabad, Dec 17: A day after the deadly attack on a school in Peshawar killed 141 people, mostly children, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday approved the removal of a moratorium on death penalty.
Addressing an All-Party Conference (APC) in Peshawar, the premier announced that the moratorium on death penalty, which was imposed under international pressure, has been lifted.
"The prime minister has abolished the moratorium on death penalty in terrorism-related cases," an official from Nawaz's office said.
Soon after resuming office, the newly-elected government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had said it wanted to reinstate the death penalty in a bid to crack down on criminals and militants.
In this respect, the government had decided to hang four convicts on death row in August last year. However, a temporary stay was ordered on these executions following objections from Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari and rights groups.
A day before, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam - Fazl (JUI-F) Secretary General Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haidri had said in a press conference that a moratorium on death penalty was encouraging terrorists and had limited counter-terrorism actions in the country.
Maulana Haidri, who is Minister of State for Postal Services, had said that the state had no right to suspend the death penalty.
"Only a victim's kin has the right to pardon the killer with or without taking compensation. This is an Islamic way of justice and being an ideological state Pakistan should have Islamic laws," he had said.
Another report from Islamabad adds: Pakistan and Afghanistan have decided to launch fresh operations against terrorists in the wake of Peshawar school massacre by Taliban as Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday vowed to "clean this region of terrorism."
"Our aim is to clean this region of terrorism. Not only Pakistan and Afghanistan but indeed this entire region should be cleaned of terrorism," he told an All Parties Conference.
His statement came in the aftermath of the Peshawar school massacre in which at least 132 students and nine staffers were killed by Taliban militants and Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call that India and Pakistan and humanity should join hands to comprehensively defeat terrorism.
"Yesterday's incident is extremely tragic," Sharif said, as he announced the lifting of self-imposed moratorium on death penalties in terror cases.
"These sacrifices will not go waste and we all want complete elimination of terrorism from Pakistan," he said.
"We must not forget these scenes... The way they (militants) left bullet holes in the bodies of innocent kids, the way they tore apart their faces with bullets," he said.
Sharif said he spoke to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani last night to discuss how both countries could do more to fight terrorism.
The two leaders agreed to launch fresh operations on their respective sides of the border, he added. Agencies.

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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