Islamabad - Activists of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) on Friday staged a demonstration in fronts of the National Press Club and called for putting an end to capital punishment in Pakistan.  The activists of HRC said that owing to the critical and well-documented deficiencies of the law and administration of justice in Pakistan, the death penalty allows for a very high probability of miscarriage of justice. They said the flaws in investigation methods of the police also added to the troubles of those who were charged with capital punishment. The HRCP activists said they considered the system of justice was loaded against the poor and lack of financial means put the accused of death penalty offences at a serious disadvantage. One of the speakers said that capital punishment had no deterrent effect. Even though Pakistan has one of the highest rates of conviction to capital punishment in the world, the incidents of death penalty offences have registered a steady increase across the country . The HRCP has also welcomed the postponement of the moratorium on capital punishment by the government and has called for a thorough review of the death penalty regime in the country.

    The HRCP activists said the commission welcomed the government’s commitment that it would persist with the moratorium on death penalty. This brings some respites for thousands of death row inmates especially those whose executions were imminent. They added that it is encouraging that the government did not succumb, so far, to the pressure and acted not only in national interests but also did well by the norms of justice.  They said the HRCP is particularly happy to note that the government has cited the international commitments, which cannot possibly exclude human rights, as the ground for the decision. “Although a good first step, the decision will have meaning only if we have a complete review of the death penalty regime in Pakistan,” they added.