UN chief Ban Ki-moon is pressing Pakistan to end capital punishment and restore a moratorium on the death penalty the government lifted in terror cases following a Taliban school massacre.
Ban spoke with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday to express his condolences after the slaughter in the northwestern city of Peshawar last week that left 150 people dead, including 134 children.
However, "while fully recognizing the difficult circumstances, the secretary general urged the government of Pakistan to stop the executions of convicts and re-impose the moratorium on the death penalty," Ban's office said in a statement.
Sharif promised that "all legal norms would be respected," the statement added.
The prime minister ended the six-year moratorium on the death penalty, reinstating it for terrorism-related cases, in the wake of the deadliest terror attack in Pakistani history.
Pakistan plans to execute 500 militants in the coming weeks.