State executions in Pakistan dropped by 73 per cent in 2016 as compared to the previous year, with over 360 convicts put on death row and more than 87 hanged, rights group Amnesty International said in its latest report released today.

According to the report, Pakistan was joined by Iran, Saudi Arabia and Iraq as one of the countries with the greatest number of state executions in 2016, amounting to 87pc of death sentences carried out globally.

"Iran alone accounted for 55pc of all recorded executions," Amnesty said.

The rights group claimed China was "the world's leading executioner," saying it could not report exact number of the "thousands of executions carried out in China [as] data on the use of the death penalty remained classified as a state secret" in the country.

However, the United States, which featured "among the world’s top five executioners" until 2006, did not come up to the top this year "partly [due] to litigation and challenges in sourcing chemicals used in lethal injection procedures," the report added.

Furthermore, the rights group said it "believed that juvenile offenders convicted in previous years" continued to be on death row in Pakistan as well, as "people with mental or intellectual disabilities were executed or remained under sentence of death" in the country.

Discussing regional trends, Amnesty International reported that the number of known executions decreased in the Asia Pacific region, citing "a significant reduction" of state executions in Pakistan as one of the main reasons.

However, the number of recorded death sentences has reportedly increased, according to Amnesty.