LAHORE/JHANG/RAWALPINDI - Eleven more death-row prisoners were executed in various jails across the Punjab in the wee hours of Wednesday.
With the latest executions, the number of hanged convicts across the country rose to 45 since Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif lifted moratorium on capital punishment after a deadly attack on Army Public School in Peshawar on December 16, 2014.
The authorities hanged four more convicted murderers at Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi. Those who were taken to the gallows amid tight security were Shaukat Ali, Muhammad Shabbir, Talib Hussain and Rabnawaz. However, the execution of Qadeer was suspended by the jail authorities as the heirs of the deceased pardoned the convict.
According to details, Adiala Jail Superintendent Malik Muhammad Ashiq Awan received death warrants for the four convicted murderers and arranged their last meetings with their family members and relatives in the jail. Later, the four convicted murderers were hanged by the jail authorities. There was a tight security inside and around Asia’s largest jail at the time of the hangings. The dead bodies were handed over to the heirs who took them to their native towns for burial.
The Jail authorities suspended the execution of the fifth convict, Qadeer, who was pardoned by the heirs of the man murdered in Talagang.
According to police, Muhammad Shabbir and Shaukat Ali were arrested by Gujar Khan and airport police, respectively, while Talib Hussain and Rab Nawaz were apprehended by Talagang police in murder cases.
Tahir Shabbir, a resident of Sabzazar, was hanged to death at Kot Lakhpat Central Jail for killing a man in 2002. An anti-terrorism court (ATC) had awarded him death sentence. He had shot dead one Irshad Ali over a petty issue of placing a signboard at a shop.
Ghulam Muhammad and Zakir Hussain were hanged in the Jhang district jail. Ghulam Muhammad killed his brother-in-law in 2000 over a family dispute. The deceased was supporting his sister in an earlier case against the convict. Zakir Hussain had killed one Zulfiqar in a dispute for custodianship of a shrine. Ghulam Muhammad and Zakir Hussain had been awarded death sentence by the Jhang district and sessions court.
Two more condemned prisoners, Shafqat and Saeed, were executed in Faisalabad Central Jail. A double-murder charge had been established against them. They had killed Arshad and Anwar over an old enmity. A district court had awarded death sentences to both the culprits in 2001.
Another death-row prisoner, Ahmed Nawaz, was executed in Mianwali Jail. Nawaz and Hashmat Khan were convicted by a district court for killing one Javed Iqbal in 1998. However, Hashmat had died while in the jail.
Asad Mehmood Khan was executed in Attock Central Jail. He was awarded death sentence in a triple-murder case. He had killed three members of a family in 2002.
Meanwhile, hangings of three convicts have been halted after they were pardoned by the heirs of the victims. Their cases have been referred to the respective trial courts.
Qadeer Ahmed was scheduled to be executed in the Adiala Jail Rawalpindi while Azhar Mahmood and Muhammad Zaman were set to be hanged in Gujrat.
All the hanged convicts had filed petitions in the superior courts, seeking review of their sentences, but these were dismissed. Their mercy appeals were also turned down by President Mamnoon Hussain. Some 8,000 convicted killers are awaiting their fate in various jails across the country.