PHC stays execution of convicted militant

Directs K-P govt to provide complete record of the case


Our Correspondent February 25, 2017
CREATIVE: AAMIR KHAN

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Friday deferred the execution of a militant who was handed down the death penalty by a military court for involvement in acts of terrorism.

The bench issued a notice to the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) government and directed it to provide a full record of the case at the next hearing.

The restraining order was issued by a PHC division bench, headed by Justice Qaiser Rasheed, on a petition filed by Muhammad Khan – the uncle of the convict Yousaf Khan – through his attorneys Sahibzada Asadullah and Muhammad Irfan.

Asadullah argued that Yousaf, a resident of Kabal area of Swat district, was arrested in 2010 by law enforcement agencies on charges of involvement in acts of terrorism. He said the allegations against him were baseless and he was not given the right to defend himself.

The counsel requested the bench to set aside the sentence. However, the bench suspended the execution with instructions that it be provided a full record of the case.

Military courts – formed through a constitutional amendment for two years to try hardcore terrorists – were suspended on completion of their tenure on January 7.

During their two-year tenure, the courts convicted 275 individuals, 165 of them were awarded capital punishment and 12 were executed.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 25th, 2017.

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