lunedì 31 agosto 2015

German Foreign Minster Steinmeier calls on Pakistan to restore moratorium on the death penalty

German Foreign Minster Frank-Walter Steinmeier is in Pakistan where he is to meet with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and other officials. Ahead of his visit, he called on Pakistan to end its use of the death penalty.
German Foreign Minster 
Frank-Walter Steinmeier
A statement posted on the website of the German Foreign Office on Monday confirmed that Steinmeier had arrived in Islamabad for talks with Prime Minister Sharif, his foreign affairs adviser, Sartaj Azis, as well as representatives of human rights groups.

Prior to his arrival in Pakistan, Steinmeier used an interview with the newspaper "The Nation" to call on Islamabad to refrain from the use of the death penalty, which it reinstated following a massacre in the city of Peshawar late last year.

Steinmeier said he was "calling for a return to the moratorium on the death penalty" because "a death penalty is an inhumane form of punishment, and what is more, not an effective deterrent."

Steinmeier noted that Pakistan had been the target of terror attacks, and he praised Islamabad's efforts aimed at "cleansing militant groups and their safe havens."

At the same time, though, he also stressed the need for the fight against extremists to be conducted in line with the rule of law and human rights.

Steinmeier said cooperation between Pakistan and Afghanistan was crucial to the fight against terror, and he called on the two countries to keep the channels of communication open despite the tensions that exist between them.

The German foreign minister's visit to Islamabad comes a day after his one-day trip to Kabul, where he also called on the two countries to work to improve bilateral ties. He also called on Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to push on with faltering peace talks with Islamist Taliban militants, describing the launch of the negotiations last month as "courageous."

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