Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif ordered a temporary suspension of the death sentence during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan that began Friday. He reportedly instructed officials to observe “the sanctity of the holy month” by halting executions.
"Directions in this regard have been issued to the Ministry of Interior and provincial governments for ensuring implementation," Sharif's office said, in a statement, Xinhua News reported.
Just ahead of Ramadan, on Wednesday, Pakistan executed seven convicted murderers in various prisons in Punjab province, the Express Tribune, a Pakistani daily, reported. Three inmates were reportedly executed at the Central Jail in Faisalabad, two at the Central Jail in Sahiwal, and one each at the Central Jail in Mianwali and the Gujrat District Jail.
In December, Sharif partially lifted a ban on executions for terrorism-related cases after the Taliban attacked a Peshawar school that killed at least 140 people, mostly students, the Associated Press reported.
Later, Pakistan revoked the six-year moratorium completely after which at least 150 inmates have been executed in the country, according to AP, despite calls from the United Nations, the European Union and international rights groups.