Army chief General Raheel Sharif signed death warrants of another 12 ‘hardcore terrorists’ on Thursday for their involvement in a number of terrorist attacks, including the Bannu jailbreak.
All the convicts were tried by military courts, which were established as part of the new anti-terror strategy following the massacre of students at the Army Public School in Peshawar on December 16, 2014.
The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said the convicts handed down death sentences were tried for committing “heinous offences relating to terrorism, including the breaking of Bannu Jail and attacks on armed forces, law enforcement agencies and civilians.”
Those who were awarded death sentences include Muhammad Arbi, Rafiullah, Qari Asif Mehmood, Shawaleh, Muhammad Zeeshan, Nasir Khan, Shaukat Ali, Imadullah, Muhammad Umar, Khandan, Sabir Shah and Anwar Ali.
Except Qari Asif, Rafiullah, Muhammad Zeeshan and Nasir Khan, all the convicts were members of the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), according to ISPR. Qari Asif and Rafiullah, the military’s media wing said, were active members of banned Sipah-e-Sahaba. They were involved in abetting the murder of Syed Waqar Haider and causing injury to Abdul Sattar Tahir in Lahore. They were also in possession of firearms and explosives.
Nasir Khan and Muhammad Zeeshan were active members of al Qaeda. They were involved in attacking armed forces which resulted in death and injuries to soldiers. They admitted their offences before the magistrate and the trial court.
Associated with TTP, Muhammad Arbi was involved in abetting attack on Bannu prison, owing to which large number of terrorists managed to escape from the jail and also caused injuries to police constables and soldiers.
Shawaleh and Shoukat Ali, who were associated with TTP, were involved in attacks on law enforcement personnel. Imdadullah and Muhammad Umar were involved in destruction of an educational institution in Buner district and attacks on law enforcers.
Sabir Shah, Khandan and Anwar Ali were given death sentences for their involvement in attacks on the armed forces. They admitted their offences before the magistrate and the trial court.
With the latest convictions, the number of terrorists awarded death sentences by the military courts has now reached 39.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 12th, 2016.
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