Pakistan executed its first prisoner in four years, hanging a convicted murderer who was a former army serviceman.

Muhammad Hussain was executed in northwest Pakistan.

Activists do not expect the country's moratorium on the death penalty to be lifted since the case involved someone in the military.

Pakistan has more than 8,000 inmates on death row, but a moratorium on executions has been in effect for four years.

The last execution, in December 2008, also involved the death of a soldier.

Pakistani officials say they are working on a draft law to ban the death penalty.

Human rights organisations support the ban, saying that the courts and police in Pakistan are too inept to ensure a fair trial.

The execution came after the head of Pakistan's powerful army rejected a plea for clemency, according to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.

After the army rejected the plea, the president did not defer the execution.