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Pakistani Government Temporarily Suspends Executions

Pakistan's government has temporarily suspended all state executions.

The move comes as several convicts, including a number of Al-Qaeda-linked militants, were scheduled to be hanged next week.

Information Minister Pervaiz Rasheed said that the executions were halted until the prime minister and the president held talks.

He said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will meet President Asif Ali Zardari when the present returns from a trip abroad.

In 2008, the previous administration put in place a moratorium on executions that expired on June 30.

Pakistan's hard-line Sunni groups have warned the government of retaliation if their comrades were executed next week.

Amnesty International estimates there are more than 8,000 prisoners on death row in Pakistan.

Based on reporting by AP and dpa