Adiala jail is a prominent jail in Rawalpindi and currently, as per Express Tribune 265 death row prisoners are languishing in Adiala jail. In the past four and a half years, no death row convicts in any prison in the country have been executed. Similarly, there have been no hangings of convicts in Adiala jail in the last five years due to the courts, including the Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) and district and sessions courts, not issuing death warrants.
While additional and sessions courts continue to hand out death sentences to convicts of murder and kidnapping for ransom, no executions have taken place for several years now. Out of the 265 death row prisoners in Adiala jail, the appeals of 140 prisoners are currently being heard in the Lahore High Court Rawalpindi bench and the Islamabad High Court, while the appeals of 115 other convicts are pending in the Supreme Court. Additionally, the Supreme Court has rejected the appeals of nine inmates against their death sentences.
Between January 1 and July 25, 2022, a total of 22 individuals were sentenced to death by the Additional District and Sessions Courts of Rawalpindi district, Special Anti-Terrorism Courts, and Anti-Narcotics Court. According to sources within the Adiala jail administration, the authorities strictly adhere to the death warrants issued by the courts. Whenever a death warrant is received, the convict is executed as per the specified date. However, no such death warrants have been issued in over four years.
Masood-ul Hasan Shah, Vice-President of the Human Rights Association, stated that Pakistan is facing pressure from various European countries to refrain from imposing death penalties on convicts. Another reason for the delay in executing death sentences is the prolonged process that takes 12 to 15 years for a death penalty case to reach the Supreme Court.
As a result of excessive delays in the justice system, the aggrieved parties often settle, and approximately 60 to 70 percent of murder cases are resolved between the plaintiffs and defendants through out-of-court settlements within two to eight years, according to a survey cited by Hasan.