ISLAMABAD: The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government has blamed the lower judiciary for a rapid increase in terrorist activities in the province.
According to the government, terrorist activities in the province have increased because courts “honourably” exonerate 98 per cent of the terrorists that face trial.
The provincial cabinet met in Peshawar on Wednesday to discuss the situation, said provincial information minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain during a news conference. “Those terrorists freed by the courts become active again as they are given the opportunity to regroup,” he reasoned.
Hussain said that the cabinet was astonished that courts sentence only two per cent of the terrorists that stand trial. “Terrorists deserve to be hanged. They should be awarded the death sentence,” he rhetorically said.
Giving details of cases decided by courts in the last two years, Hussain said that 200 cases were registered during 2009 but the number fell to 101 in 2010. However, according to him, a 75 per cent increase was recorded in the last three months.
It is due to the government’s efforts, he said, that only 96 per cent of those accused for terrorism were freed by courts and four per cent were sentenced.
“Those terrorists who were freed by the courts have been able to re-establish their networks,” Hussain said. “The police and security forces have made massive sacrifices in arresting them but the terrorists have been given a licence to kill innocent people.”
The Khyber-Pakhtunkwa cabinet also noted that those militants who were not sentenced were apparently responsible for more attacks on police and security forces.
“Almost all of them took shelter in Mohmand Agency and Malakand to re-launch attacks on civilians and security forces,” Hussain said.
He said that senior leaders have allowed local commanders to make independent decision about terrorist activities. “Courts must discharge their responsibilities in accordance with the prevailing situation in the province,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 25th, 2011.