Ahead of the anniversary, the outlawed Pakistani Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan issued a warning to the government not to carry death penalties awarded by courts to its members. The LeJ is one of Pakistan's most feared militant outfits, having carried out numerous attacks, and has close links to the umbrella PTT and is notorious for murderous attacks on Shiite Muslims, who compose about 20 percent of the country's estimated 200 million people.
A leaflet signed by the Punjabi Taliban in the militant North and South Waziristan tribal areas warned the government of serious consequences if it executed the militants, noting, "Implementation of the decision to execute prisoners will be considered as announcement of war and PML-N will have to pay the price for that."
So far, the threats seem to have had little impact, as Sindh Sukkur jail commander Nusrat Mangan said, "So far the death sentences are scheduled unless we get presidential orders as we would in the past."
Up to 8,000 inmates are believed to be awaiting the death sentence in dozens of overcrowded Pakistani prisons.
The issues raised by the proposed executions will not go away anytime soon, as according to Pakistani Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, the government was determined to establish the writ of law, telling journalists: "There is a backlog of 450 cases and we are processing them as fast as we can. We will continue the process to implement the execution orders so that the law may take its course." An Interior Ministry official speaking on condition of anonymity stated the Sharif government has decided to deal with executions on a case-to-case basis and persons "related to terrorism were being selected."
Five more files for the execution of LeJ and TPP prisoners have been forwarded to the prime minister's office, to be sent to the president's office to issue death warrants.