ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has directed that lacunas in the anti-terrorism laws must be removed to ensure that culprits involved in heinous terrorist activities are fairly punished.

The Prime Minister while chairing a meeting on Anti-Terrorism Legislation at the PM’s House on Thursday, added that there should be no gap and loophole in the anti-terrorism laws which allow the terrorists to get away with dreadful crimes.

“We need strong, transparent but stringent laws to cope with the menace of terrorism. The required amendments must be finalized as soon as possible”, said the Prime Minister.

He underlined the need for amending the existing laws so that people involved in brutal and inhuman activities are brought to book and penalized under the laws of the land. 

The meeting was also attended by Ch. Nisar Ali Khan, Minister for Interior, Parvez Rasheed, Minister for Information, Broadcasting & National Heritage, Zahid Hamid, Minister for Science & Technology and senior officials of the PM’s office.

GOVT RULES AGAINST DEATH PENALTY

Reuters adds: The government has scrapped plans to reinstate the death penalty, an official said on Thursday, following threats by Taliban militants to step up attacks in retaliation.

A 2008 moratorium on capital punishment imposed by previous government expired on June 30 and the country had been due to execute two jailed militants in August - a plan described by the Pakistani Taliban as an act of war.

“Pakistan has decided to continue with the moratorium on capital punishment since the government is aware of its international commitments and is following them,” Omar Hamid Khan, an interior ministry spokesman, said.

The new government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif originally said it wanted to reinstate the death penalty in a bid to crack down on criminals and militants in a move strongly criticised by international human rights groups.

Up to 8,000 people languish on death row in dozens of overcrowded and violent jails.

Pakistan’s moratorium drew praise because of concerns its courts and police were too inept to ensure the accused a fair trial. Pakistan did, however, break its own rules in 2012 when it executed a convicted murderer and a former army serviceman.