ISLAMABAD - The European Union (EU) Wednesday announced its opposition to lifting of the moratorium on the death penalty in Pakistan and demanded its immediate restoration.

"We believe that the death penalty is not an effective tool in the fight against terrorism," the EU Ambassador to Pakistan Lars-Gunnar Wigemark and other delegates said in a joint statement. Ambassador Wigemark said that the EU delegation regrets the decision of the Pakistani government to lift the moratorium on executions, which had been in place since 2008.

Ambassador Wigenmark also said the EU remains opposed to the death penalty in all circumstances and expressed hope that the moratorium will be re-established at the earliest. On the other hand, the envoy assured that the EU stands by Pakistan and shares its grief after the horrific attack on the school in Peshawar. The EU delegation also welcomed the resolve of Pakistanis to deal with the scourge of terrorism and violent extremism in all of its manifestation. At least 148 people, including 132 schoolchildren, died when Taliban gunmen attacked the Army Public School Peshawar on December 16.

Government of Pakistan lifted moratorium on the death penalty after attack on Army Public School Peshawar.

Following the lifting of the moratorium on the death penalty, four death-row prisoners, who were convicted for their involvement in an attack on former military ruler Gen (r) Pervez Musharraf, were executed last week at a district jail in Faisalabad. Whereas, two former military men were also executed last week, in Faisalabad district jail. Usman a former soldier of the army's medical corps was executed in relation to an attack on the headquarters of the Pakistan Army in 2009 in Rawalpindi.

Arshad Mehmood, who was a trooper and also hanged, was among five convicts who were handed out the death sentence for their role in an Al-Qaeda-inspired assassination attempt on Musharraf's life in late 2003.