Pakistan To Abolish Death Penalty To Retain GSP+ Status.

ISLAMABAD -- The government is going to abolish death penalty for certain crimes as perjury, and production, possession and transportation of narcotics substance so as to comply with the human rights conditions attached to Pakistan's GSP Plus (GSP+) status, well-placed sources told The Nation on Sunday.

They said Section 194 of the PPC, 1860 deals with perjury that pertains to giving or fabricating false evidence with intent to procure conviction of capital offence.

According to the officials, till date, no death conviction has ever occurred on charges of perjury. So, the authorities believe, there is no harm in reducing punishment for perjury from death penalty to a sentence up to life imprisonment or less than that.

Similarly, Section 9 of Control of Narcotics Substance Act, 1997 deals with production, possession and transportation of narcotics substance of more than 1Kg and the maximum punishment is death sentence. Till date only one individual has been executed on punishment awarded for possession of narcotics substance. The authorities believe that the punishment may also be reduced to life imprisonment.

In May 2022, a representative of European Union had reminded the country that trade preferences were linked to compliance with issues particularly the human rights including abolishment of death penalty. 'GSP+ beyond 2023 is possible for Pakistan as the country's government has assured the EU that all efforts to show compliance with the high requirements will be made,' said Charge d'Affaires of the European Union (EU) Delegation to Pakistan, Thomas Seiler at a conference on 'Human Rights Reforms in Sindh - GSP+ and Beyond', organised by the Sindh government human rights department in Karachi. A resolution adopted by European Parliament had also cited an...

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