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EU never threatened Pakistan with sanctions over Hangings

By Dr Shahid Qureshi : –

Capital punishment is legal in Pakistan and is ranked fifth after the People’s Republic of China, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United States. The European Union continue to do business with Iran, Saudi Arabia, China and USA. How is it possible that the EU would only discriminate and force Pakistan who is fighting a bloody war since 2001?

It seems for that very reason Nawaz Government did not extend the moratorium but quietly put ‘a ban on executions’ of over 8000 criminals waiting to be hanged. The EU and USA has no problem with the Islamic Sharia Laws as they have benefited from them when US Citizen Raymond Davis was released from all murder charges of two Pakistani citizens after paying the ‘blood money’ to the families of the victims.

The Presidential moratorium imposed by Asif Zardari expired on 30th June 2013 and the government announced it had no plan to extend it. The government stated there would be no general amnesty for the convicts waiting for execution.

When Zardari said, ‘democracy is the best revenge’. He meant his style of revenge from all Pakistanis i.e. he banned hanging of murders and criminals on the one hand and gave free hand to criminals, mafias in Pakistan and turned it into Criminalistan.  During Zardari’s democratic rule from March 2008 to March 2013 in Pakistan 65,446 murdered, 16,448 women raped (including gang rapes), and 88,161 kidnappings according to National Crime Data (NCD).

Read More: (Pakistan – Taliban are not bigger threat than Police & Judges : Published, The London Post on 13th   March 2014.)

Pakistan: Taliban are not bigger threat than Police & Judges: 65,446 murdered, 16,448 women raped, 88,161 kidnappings

When the above killings, kidnapping and rapes were happening Zardari Government and later Nawaz Sharif continued ban on executions of the criminals awarded sentences by the courts of Pakistan and have used their all appeal rights.

First Zardari Government and later Nawaz Sharif government continued to lie to the people of Pakistan. They told people of Pakistan that reason behind the Presidential ban on hanging of murderers was due to the pressures from European Union. That was never been the case in 2008 and also in 2014. The European Union never pressurised Pakistan and/or asked to ban on executions of criminals awarded punishments by the courts of Pakistan.

In the aftermath of the Peshawar Massacre of Children in School and in response to a query The European Union wrote on 19/12/14 and within hours European Union sent me the following response after consulting their experts:

Dear Dr (Shahid) Qureshi
“Pakistan was granted a Generalised Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP+) trade arrangement as from 1 January this year (2014).  The moratorium on executions is not a GSP + precondition and is not part of any of the 27 core conventions under the GSP+ scheme.
That being said, in the process leading up the granting of GSP+ by the EU, and as part of Pakistan’s effort to show its commitment and willingness to make significant progress on human rights, the Government of Pakistan undertook to maintain the de facto moratorium, which has been in place since 2008.

The position of the EU is well known: we are against the death penalty in all circumstances because we believe it is not an effective deterrent and is an irreversible form of punishment.
After the horrific massacre in Peshawar, the EU High Representative and European Commission Vice President Frederica Mogherini issued a statement expressing her shock and heartfelt condolences, reiterating the commitment of the EU to tackle the threat posed by terrorism and to further assist the Pakistani Government.”

I sent the above European Union response to British Human Rights Lawyer Barrister Amjad Malik for comment.

He said: “Lifting ban on moratorium does not affect GSP plus status as long as Pakistan is committed to improvement on human rights and due process of law”.  

I send following request to the Government of Pakistan via their Press attaché Muneer Ahmad at The Pakistan High Commission in London at the same time on 19/12/2014. I have not received any response from them till filing of this article 01/01/2015.

“EU warning of ban on Executions in Pakistan: I am writing to enquire about the above statements made in Pakistani media that: EU threatened to put trade restrictions on Pakistan if it continue with executions of criminals and murderers? Can you please provide background to this information and evidence if possible when did it happen and what was the context as soon as possible.”

According to the latest reports corrupt and incompetent politicians of Pakistan are still not seeing the gravity and dangers Pakistan facing from the criminals as well as terrorists. They are trying to hide behind the EU or some human rights organisations as an excuse to further delay the executions for no other reason that they themselves have been involved in crimes. They are detached with the reality, as they feel safe in police protections. Over 2500 policemen are protecting PM Nawaz Sharif’s family among them 19 policemen are keeping an eye on his pet peacocks. Eight policemen of Punjab Police were suspended after a wild cat killed one of his peacocks. That cat was shot dead by the Punjab police.

All the criminals are patronised by the politicians and mafias. These criminal mafias are providing shelters and protections to the terrorists, as they cannot operate in a vacuum? These mafias have become national security threat to Pakistan. They are responsible for harbouring and financing terrorist as well as become tool for the foreign agents. Armed Forces are not designed to fight with these mafias, which is fully backed, by judiciary and police. As a result we see jail breaks en mass, we see witnesses murdered, terrorist and criminals released and most worrying trend is that these mafias are now offering services to foreign powers and getting paid in foreign banks.

In Pakistan crime against person and property are on the rise the average of 24.12% as compared to the figure of 2007. Pakistan’s corrupt police and judicial system especially at lower level seemingly have contributed to the causalities among the armed forces fighting with the terrorists and security forces. Corrupt officials at all levels have made the infiltration of enemies with the ranks and files, which resulted in the huge increase in the deaths of armed forces. Police corruption has made the job of the anti terror personnel not only difficult but almost impossible with the emergence of various criminal mafias and syndicates. Terrorism in Pakistan is now self financing through land grabbing, drugs, extortion and white collar crimes in stock exchanges, money laundering.

The politicians have left Army to deal with everything from floods, earthquakes, famine and terrorism as well as minding the international borders while politicians are busy in all kinds of corruption, minting money and buying properties abroad.

The politicians must know that clock is ticking and they don’t have any idea what is attached with it. So time to act now before it is too late.

(Dr Shahid Qureshi is senior analyst with BBC and editor of The London Post. He writes on security, terrorism and foreign policy. He also appears as analyst on Al-Jazeera, Press TV, MBC, Kazak TV (Kazakhstan), Turkish TV, LBC Radio London. He was also international election observer for Kazakhstan 2015, and Pakistan 2002. He has written a famous book “War on Terror and Siege of Pakistan” published in 2009. He did his MA thesis on Imam Khomeini and studied at Tehran University. He is a PhD in Political Psychology and also studied Law at a British University)

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