According to today's Times, Pakistan has reprieved 7,000 death-row inmates and commuted their sentences to life imprisonment. ' In one of the biggest amnesties of modern history, the Cabinet approved the reprieve to mark the 55th birthday of Benazir Bhutto, the former Prime Minister, who was assassinated late last year. Her Pakistan’s People’s Party (PPP), which swept the national elections this year, now leads a four-party coalition government. The move will come into effect after endorsement by President Musharraf. Human rights activists said that the reprieve, the largest mass commutation of death sentence anywhere, would benefit almost one third of the world’s death-row population, which is estimated to be around 24,000. Welcoming the amnesty, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan demanded complete abolition of the death sentence. Pakistan is among 69 nations that retain the punishment. Radical mullahs called on Muslims to protest against the clemency, which is regarded as “un-Islamic”.'
Thanks to Mark Warren, who writes: 'Truly, almost anything is possible...'