The field general court martial convicted seven accused for the 2009 GHQ attack, including two army personnel and five civilians, The Express Tribune has learnt.
In a verdict delivered Thursday evening, army sepoy Aqeel alias Dr Usman was sentenced to death, while another personnel Imran Siddiq was given life imprisonment. A fine of Rs 200,000 and Rs100,000 has been imposed on the two, respectively.
The convicted civilians include Khaliqur Rehman, Muhammad Usman, Wajid Ali, Muhammad Adnan and Tahir Shafiq. The first three have been sentenced to life imprisonment, while the other two have been given jail terms of 10 and seven years, respectively
The civilians have been convicted for assisting the attackers, helping them find their targets and inciting servicemen to wage war against the army.
People familiar with the matter said all seven convicts have been shifted to Adiala Jail.
The accused men’s lawyer, when contacted by The Express Tribune, confirmed their convictions, but said he cannot comment on the judgment until he receives a copy of the trial’s proceedings.
An official from the Inter-Services Public Relations said the men had been arrested, but did not confirm the sentences. In military courts, such cases are usually decided in a month and it does not take this long, he said while speaking to The Express Tribune on condition of anonymity.
The prime accused, Aqeel alias Dr Usman, is also involved in a number of other terrorism cases including the Marriot blast in Sept 2008, he said.
On October 10, 2009, heavily-armed militants wearing suicide vests, mounted a brazen attack on General Headquarters Rawalpindi and held off army commandos for hours.
Nine of the attackers were killed in the operation while one was arrested after he was wounded. He was identified as Aqeel, aka Dr Usman. According to the prosecution, the accomplices knew about Aqeel’s plans and had helped him carry out the attack.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 13th, 2011.