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EU Criticizes Pakistan For Lifting Moratorium On Death Penalty

The European Union has condemned Islamabad’s decision to lift a moratorium on the death penalty and is demanding its immediate restoration.

The EU on December 24 said in a statement that "the death penalty is not an effective tool in the fight against terrorism."

Pakistan has executed six prisoners since last week when it announced the lifting of the 2008 moratorium in terrorism cases.

Pakistani authorities say they plan to execute 500 convicted terrorists in coming weeks.

The moratorium was lifted amid outrage over the Pakistani Taliban's massacre of 151 victims, including 142 children, by an attack on a military-run school in Peshawar on December 16.

About 8,000 prisoners are on death row in Pakistan.

Officials in Brussels say if Pakistan continues to carry out executions, it could derail a lucrative trade deal with the EU.

Based on reporting by AFP and Dawn