UN chief urges Pakistan’s leader to stop executions


UNITED NATIONS — Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is urging Pakistan’s leader to stop the execution of convicts and re-impose a moratorium on the death penalty.

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric says the U.N. chief made the appeal during a telephone call Friday with Pakistan’s prime minister, Nawaz Sharif.

In the wake of the Pakistani Taliban school massacre on Dec. 16 that killed 149 people, most of them students, the government reinstated the death penalty and has already executed six people.

Dujarric said Ban and Sharif “noted the importance of democracy, rule of law as well as the need for an independent judiciary and the respect for the sentiments of the people of Pakistan.”

He said Ban welcomed “the prime minister’s assurance that all legal norms would be respected.”