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Moscow regrets Pakistan’s denial to soften capital punishment for Russian citizen

December 22, 2014, 17:17 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Russian-born Akhlas Akhlak was executed after being convicted of attempting to assasinate Pakistan's ex-president
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MOSCOW, December 22. /TASS/. Russia regrets that the Pakistani authorities ignored Moscow’s repeated calls to soften the punishment for Russian-born Akhlas Akhlak, executed in Pakistan on Sunday after convicted of assassination attempt on former President Pervez Musharraf, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Monday.

“As it was earlier stated, Russian citizen Akhlas Akhlak, who also held the Pakistani citizenship, was executed in the prison of the city of Faisalabad on December 21,” the ministry said in its statement.

The ministry also said in its statement that the Pakistani authorities did not official inform the Russian Embassy in Islamabad about their intention to carry out the capital punishment.

“It is regrettable, that the Pakistani side did not react to our repeated calls to soften the punishment for Akhlak for humanitarian reasons,” the ministry stated.

The assassination attempt on President Musharraf took place in December of 2003. The death penalty was handed down in August of 2005. Along with Akhlak, three Pakistani citizens — Zourab Ahmed, Goulam Sarvar Bhatti and Rshid Kureshi — were also sentenced to death.

According to the Russian Embassy in Islamabad, Akhlak’s father, who lives in Pakistan, had met with his son before the execution. His mother, who lives in Russia, has recently received a Pakistani visa and was about to leave for Pakistan for the last meeting with her son.

Akhlak, 34, came to Pakistan in March, 2001. In spring of 2004, he was arrested on charges of attempted assassination and sentenced to death the following year.

After a recent terrorist attack on a secondary school in Peshawar that had claimed the lives of 148 people Pakistan lifted the moratorium on capital punishment that had been unofficially in force in the country since 2008.

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