After the end of Second World War, abolition of the death penalty gained momentum and attained charm driven by the awareness about the value of life, the right to life, the majesty of the human beings, the risk of judicial errors and abnormalities, and the fact that the death penalty involves brutality and barbarism. In Europe, the emergence of Protocol 6 of the Council of Europe in 1982 was the first legally binding instrument abolishing the death penalty. Whereas,Protocol 13to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms [European Convention on Human Rights] concerning the abolition of the death penalty in all circumstances, was adopted by the Council of Europe in 2002.The European Union is required by its treaties to respect and promote human rights in all its internal and external policies. It is well-documented that Western Europe exerted much pressure upon its eastern counterpart to abolish the death penalty. In the 1990s, abolition of the death penalty was one of the important criterions for membership in the European Council which was made a mandatory requirementby 1996.Eastern European countries considered or gave preference to membership in the Council of Europe as one foot in the door towards eventual desired membership in the EUor North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). In my opinion, death penalty is more of an emotional and legal issueAfter the European Council’s1982 enactment, the UN adopted the first international document aiming at worldwide abolition of the death penalty titled”Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights”.It is fair to suggest that not all democracies share the same willingness to accept legally binding international obligations. Currently, there are four international treaties which provide for the abolition of the death penalty. The Second Protocol is the only one that has international scope. In light of international treaties and conventions mentioned above, abolitionist position has prevailed worldwide. Most recently, Burkina Faso and Guatemala (for ordinary crimes), Guinea, and Mongolia (for all crimes)abolished it. Importantly, in recent times the Roman Catholic Church decided that the death penalty is inadmissible under all circumstance as it violates human dignity and right to live.Now, considering Pakistan’s current stance and position, in light of above mentioned conventions and treaties, the International Covenant on Civil and Political RightsConvention against Torturewas ratifiedin 2010 with the exceptionof the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. This was about the abolition of death penalty. The last PPP government placed moratoriumupon death penalty and it remained in forceuntil 2014.To complement this decision,the EUgranted GSP Plus status to Pakistanfor economic benefits. However, immediately after the Peshawar massacre, the penalty wasreinstated and secretive military courts were introducedin negation of the state’s international obligations to deter rampant violence and terrorism. The last governmentdecided to launch a number of policies and plans to deter and control rampant violence, lawlessness and terrorism soon afterwards.It was decided that only terrorists would be hanged. Since then,it has been observed by a number of rights groups and organisations that those who were hanged to death were either one-time offenders or convicts of ordinary offences. However, the 2018 European Commission report on Pakistan highlighted that the application of the death penalty remains a grave concern.In my opinion, death penalty is more of an emotional and legalissue. The people must consider it rationally and pragmatically. Its implementation serves no purpose, hence, has no relevance in modern times. It’s not always about punishingwho have committed crimes but rather the criminal justice system to be rehabilitative. I further contend that the use of death penalty has always applied upon the poorest of the poor, vulnerable juvenilesand minorities. For instance, Iran is an example where juvelines were given death penalty. In Pakistan, a number of juveniles have been condemned to death who are currently facing life imprisonment.In conclusion, Istrongly advocate that the use of the death penalty is not a deterrence to criminal activities. Civilised societies across the world have moved towards arehabilitative form of punishment.The writer is an advocate based in LahorePublished in Daily Times, March 11th 2019.