DERA GHAZI KHAN:
A judge who faced constant death threats from the Taliban during a 22-month long case sentenced a surviving suicide bomber to life in prison on Wednesday.
The special judge for anti-terrorism court II, Justice Asif Majeed, also announced death sentence for the mastermind of the 2010 attack on the Sakhi Sarwar shrine in Dera Ghazi Khan.
Fifty-two people were killed and more than 150 injured in the attack on the mausoleum on April 3. Two separate FIRs were registered at Sakhi Sarwar police station by the border military police and district police of Dera Ghazi Khan.
And thus, for each victim, Justice Majeed awarded 52 death sentences for the mastermind and 52 life imprisonment sentences for the suicide bomber.
The first three hearings in the case were heard at the anti-terrorism court in Dera Ghazi Khan. However, when the death threats from the Tehreek-e-Taliban started filtering in, all hearings were shifted to the Central Jail in Dera Ghazi Khan. On Wednesday, the final verdict was announced at the prison amidst high security.
The life imprisonment sentence awarded to Omar Fidaayi is equal to 1,300 years. Fidaayi was one of three suicide bombers present on the night of the attack at the shrine.
Although the two other suicide bombers were successful, Fidaayi’s jacket did not detonate and he was arrested in extremely critical condition from the location. Fidaayi was merely 13 years old at that time and revealed to investigators that 400 more children had been trained to be suicide bombers in Pakistan.
Behram Khan, also known as Sufi Baba, the mastermind of the attacks, was arrested after Fidaayi spoke to investigators, revealing his involvement. Khan planned and supplied everything to all those involved.
Shareef Khosa, who financed the plan, remains at large and reportedly escaped the country after the attack.
During the course of the hearing, four people were arrested and subsequently declared innocent and released.
They include Asghar and Farooq who were the managers at the hotel where the perpetrators of the attack had stayed before carrying out their plan. Also released were the man who supplied them with a SIM card, and another man who had accompanied them to the shrine.
The criminals are currently being held at the Central Jail in Dera Ghazi Khan. Both the prison and the prosecutors involved in the case have received multiple death threats and letters from the TTP ordering their release. Security at the prison has been ramped up following the announcement of the verdict.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 7th, 2013.
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Good job - and what about the perpetrators of the attacks on the Ahmadis in May 2010? There were 98 deaths there.. what about them?
Imagine "merely 13 years old at that time"....as a nation and as a people we should die of shame...
Mr. CJ Should learn from this Judge...