[JURIST] Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif [official profile] on Wednesday approved the lifting of Pakistan’s moratorium on the death penalty. Sharif’s decision [BBC report] was rendered in response to a deadly attack [JURIST report] by the Pakistani Taliban (TTP) on a school in Peshwar that killed 141 people, most of whom were children. The reinstatement of the death penalty will only be applied to terrorism-related cases, as the prime minister believes that this will constitute a step to end terrorism in the country.
The TTP have a history of armed rebellion against the Pakistani government and have sought to overthrow the authorities and impose Sharia law. As the main place of operations of the Taliban [JURIST news archive], Pakistan has been a focal point of global anti-terrorism efforts. In July Pakistan passed [JURIST report] a strict anti-terrorism bill that allowed police to use lethal force, to search buildings without a warrant and to detain suspects at secret facilities for up to 60 days without charge “on reasonable apprehension of commission of a scheduled offense.” Last year Sharif claimed [JURIST report] that the country’s anti-terrorism laws would be amended to more effectively combat modern threats.