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PR No. 105 Islamabad: 15th September 2017

A consultative meeting chaired by Special Assistant to Prime Minister Zafarullah Khan held today (15th September, 2017) in the Ministry of Law & Justice to consider possible legislative reforms in criminal justice system of Pakistan. The meeting was attended by senior representatives of Ministry of Interior, Human Rights, Foreign Affairs, Narcotics Control Division, and Law & Justice.

The SAPM stated that proposal should be prepared for the prisoners involved in minor offences to engage them in community services for their social reintegration instead of keeping them in Jails.

Keeping in view Pakistan’s international commitments and concluding observations on Pakistan’s obligatory reports, Ministry of Human Rights was directed to conduct thorough review of laws pertaining to human rights including offences related to death penalty.

The concerns of international community regarding disabled prisoners who are on death row were also discussed. Ms. Rabiya Javeri Agha, Secretary, Ministry of Human Rights proposed to review imposition of death penalty in drug crimes. Besides, situation with regard to prisoners particularly women, children, mentally ill and physically challenged persons were discussed with a view to protect their rights as guaranteed in the Constitution of Pakistan. It was agreed that the detail analysis of each category of the prisoners along with relevant crimes will be undertaken to comprehensively address the issue.

The meeting noted that in case of any report of death penalty imposed on such categories of prisoners, the matter would be dealt on humanitarian ground and Presidential pardon under article 45 of the Constitution will be recommended subject to certification of the cases by the Provincial Government.

 Furthermore, the issue of persons who were juvenile at the time of offence before promulgation of Juvenile Justice Ordinance, 2000 and had been awarded death penalty under the then prevailing law was also discussed.  

The Ministry of Human Rights was of the view that as per Presidential order 2001, provides commutation of death penalties awarded to juveniles into life imprisonment, so if there exists any such juvenile who was awarded death penalty before 2000 should also get benefit from such relief.

Ministry of Human Rights was directed to review relevant laws of such offences and prepare proposals for further legislative review, if so required. The Ministry was further directed to prepare proposal for seeking presidential pardon on humanitarian grounds of highly deserving cases, as per law. 

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