ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan government has rejected the European Union’s (EU) concerns over the death penalty and the foreign office said on Friday Islamabad is not violating international laws.

“Only such convicts are being hanged who are involved in heinous crimes,” foreign office spokesman Qazi Khalilullah said during a briefing in Islamabad.

The awarding of death sentences was Pakistan’s internal affair, the spokesperson added.

On Thursday, the EU had expressed concern over increasing executions in Pakistan and demanded of the government to reinstate the moratorium on the death penalty and fully respect all of its international obligations, Dawn online reported.

According to official reports, Pakistan has executed approximately 150 “criminals” over the past six months.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif partially lifted the moratorium on executions linked to terrorism following the December 2014 Taliban attack on Peshawar’s Army Public School, which left over 140 students and staff dead.

The moratorium was lifted completely on March 10, leaving 8,500 prisoners on death row — one of the largest death row populations in the world — up for execution. 

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