MIANWALI - Pakistan has carried out its first execution in over five years, sparking criticism from human rights activists.
Jail official Abdullah Khan Niazi says authorities hanged Muhammad Hussain early on Thursday morning in Mianwali city.
Muhammad Hussain was an army soldier and a resident of Langarwala Pul of Sahiwal tehsil Sargodha district. He was sentenced to death in 2009 because he had killed his senior officer Havaldar Khadim Hussain in 2008 when they were on leave.
It was the first execution since the current government came to power in 2008. President Asif Ali Zardari placed an unofficial moratorium on executions after he was elected. Every three months the Presidency issued a letter through respective home departments, staying all executions.
But Niazi said that the president and the head of the Army, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani rejected Muhammad Hussain’s mercy petition.
Zaman Khan, an official at the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, criticized the execution, saying it indicates the government has changed its policy.