Ban Ki-moon urges Pakistan to end executions

New York, Dec 27 (IANS) United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called on the Pakistan government to bring an end to the executions of convicts and restore a moratorium on the death penalty.

On Dec 25, Ban spoke over the phone with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and reiterated his condolences to the people, government and communities affected by the Peshawar school attack, according to a read out of the call provided by Ban’s spokesperson, The News International reported Saturday.
Ban’s appeal follows Pakistan’s recent decision to lift a six-year moratorium on the death penalty following the Dec 16 terrorist attack on a school in Peshawar which claimed the lives of more than 140 teachers and students.
The secretary-general and the prime minister “noted the importance of democracy, rule of law as well as the need for an independent judiciary and respect for the sentiments of the people of Pakistan,” it said adding that Ban welcomed Sharif’s assurance that all legal norms would be respected.
Earlier this week, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Raad Al Hussein had also condemned Pakistan’s decision, particularly at a time when the international community is increasingly turning away from the use of the death penalty.