A mother, whose son Mohammed Ali Khan, 15, was killed in the school attack, mourns at her residence in Peshawar. Reuters 17 Dec 2014 | 6:09 PM
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistani Prime Minister lifted a moratorium on the death penalty on Wednesday, a day after Taliban gunmen attacked a school, killing 132 students and nine teachers, a government spokesman said.[ + read story ]
Islamabad, December 17
The Pakistani Prime Minister lifted a moratorium on the death penalty on Wednesday, a day after Taliban gunmen attacked a school, killing 132 students and nine teachers, a government spokesman said.
Pakistan began three days of mourning on Wednesday for the 141 people killed in the attack on the school in the northwestern city of Peshawar.
The bloodshed has shocked the nation and put pressure on the government to do more to tackle the Pakistani Taliban insurgency. Many people have called in the media for the death penalty to be restored.
“It was decided that this moratorium should be lifted. The Prime Minister approved,” said government spokesman Mohiuddin Wan, referring to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s approval of the decision by a ministerial committee.
“Black warrants will be issued within a day or two,” he said, referring to execution orders.
He did not give any details about who might be executed under such orders.
A moratorium on the death penalty was imposed in 2008 and only one execution has taken place since then.
There are believed to be more than 8,000 prisoners on death row in Pakistan, about 10 percent convicted of offences labelled “terrorism”, said Justice Project Pakistan, a legal aid group.
“Terrorism” has a very broad definition under Pakistani law.
About 17,000 cases of “terrorism” are pending in special courts.
Justice Project Pakistan released a report on Wednesday saying that those convicted of terrorism were often tortured into confessions or denied lawyers, and that recent crackdowns had not stopped militant attacks.
“Swathes of defendants whose crimes bear no relation to terrorism have been sentenced to death following extremely unfair trials - whilst terrorist attacks continue unabated,” the group said.
Sharif vows to ‘clean this region of terrorism’
Pakistan and Afghanistan have decided to launch fresh operations against terrorists in the wake of Peshawar school massacre by the 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-party 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.
“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. — Reuters/PTI
17 Dec 2014 | 11:44 AM
PESHAWAR: Pakistan woke up to a day of mourning on Wednesday after Taliban militants killed 132 students at a school in the city of Peshawar in a grisly attack which shocked the nation and put pressure on the government to do more to tackle the insurgency.
17 Dec 2014 | 3:51 PM
NEW DELHI: In the wake of the terror attack on a school in Pakistan’s Peshawar, Centre today asked all states to beef up security particularly in educational institutions.
17 Dec 2014 | 6:58 PM
ROME/NEW DELHI: Italy today said it could recall its Ambassador to India Daniele Mancini for “urgent consultations”, a day after the Supreme Court refused the pleas of the Italian marines, accused of killing two fishermen in 2012, to spend Christmas back home.
17 Dec 2014 | 7:12 PM
NEW DELHI: After all its flights remained grounded for most part of the day on Wednesday, cash-strapped SpiceJet resumed operations in the evening as oil companies, which had stopped fuel supplies to its aircraft, eased the restriction.
17 Dec 2014 | 5:12 PM
NEW DELHI: India today expressed concern over a nuclear deal between China and Pakistan, which it had taken up with Beijing but asserted that it is “well prepared” to safeguard national interests.
17 Dec 2014 | 3:50 PM
NEW DELHI: Indian woman boxer L. Sarita Devi was today handed a one-year ban by the International Boxing Association (AIBA) for refusing to accept her bronze medal at the Asian Games, but the punishment is unlikely to hurt her career too badly as she would be available to compete in the 2016 Olympic qualifiers.
17 Dec 2014 | 1:39 PM
NEW DELHI: The uproar over reported conversions and comments by MPs of the ruling BJP continued to rock the Rajya Sabha for the third consecutive day on Wednesday, forcing several adjournments.
17 Dec 2014 | 1:33 PM
BRISBANE: Opener Murali Vijay cracked a fluent 144 as India put up a solid batting display to take the honours on the opening day of the second cricket Test against Australia by reaching a comfortable 311 for four here on Wednesday.
17 Dec 2014 | 12:46 PM
CHANDIGARH/SHIMLA: Moderate to thick fog affected normal life in some parts of Punjab and Haryana on Wednesday morning, slowing road and railway traffic, while people in Shimla and its nearby tourist spots in Himachal were greeted by sunny weather.
17 Dec 2014 | 2:09 AM
The CBI was today directed by a special court to record statements of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who was holding charge as the Coal Minister in 2005, and others in a coal blocks allocation scam case allegedly involving top industrialist Kumar Mangalam Birla.
17 Dec 2014 | 2:09 AM
Ruchika M Khanna
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, December 16
With salaries and wages taking up over 35 per cent of the state’s total revenue, the Punjab Government has decided to pay just the basic salary to all new recruits
(except judicial officers) during their two years of probation period.
The Tribune Interview17 Dec 2014 | 2:39 AM
Seven weeks into the job, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar lays down his agenda and priorities in an exclusive interview with Raj Chengappa, Editor-in-Chief, The Tribune Group of Newspapers, and Naveen Garewal, Haryana Bureau Chief
17 Dec 2014 | 12:39 PM
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar will launch a good governance initiative on December 25. He said he listened to people’s grievances during “janta darbas” and it was time to respond to their aspirations and expectations.