APS attack convict’s death sentence challenged

Published: September 4, 2015
Email
PHOTO: REUTERS

PHOTO: REUTERS

PESHAWAR: The military court death sentence of a man convicted for harbouring a suicide bomber involved in the Army Public School massacre was challenged in the Peshawar High Court.

Nek Maro, mother of Taj Muhammad alias Rizwan, filed the petition and sought a court order to rescind the death sentence of her son.

Maro filed the petition through her counsel Abdul Latif Afridi. The special military court of 11 Corps Peshawar, federal secretaries for defence and interior as well as provincial secretary for home and tribal affairs were asked to respond. Other respondents included the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa IGP.

When the judgment rolled

On August 14, Inter-Services Public Relations, the media wing of the armed forces, issued a statement, saying the Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif confirmed the death sentence awarded to six people for being involved in APS and Safora Chowrangi, Karachi attacks.

One of the convicts was Taj, who the army maintained was an active member of  the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and was involved in the APS attack which claimed over 150 lives.

When Taj disappeared

Taj’s mother said he was picked up from their house by secret service personnel who were accompanied by the Pistakhara police on February 7.  The family searched and searched but failed to locate Taj.

Taj’s mother said her son is not associated with any terrorist organisation. However, he did visit Wana, South Waziristan Agency in 2007 in the company of tribesman Nazeer and stayed there for 40 days, she added.

Maro said her son was a daily wage labourer and was married. His wife, Yasmeen, was admitted to the Khyber Teaching Hospital for a pregnancy related complication on December 16, 2014. Taj was with her at the time the attack happened as she gave birth to a child who died the very next day on December 17, 2014, the petition read.

Taj remained with his wife till she was discharged from the hospital on December 20, 2014.

‘No evidence’

She said after hearing the news, the family restarted its search for Taj and looked for him in the Peshawar and Haripur jails, but to no avail. “The family neither found the court which granted the sentence nor was it provided with any details of the case,” the petition claimed. Taj’s mother said under the Constitution and prison laws, the convict and his or her family are entitled to know the orders of court and charges of the offence. The petition further said any sentence handed by military courts is subject to a judicial review.

“The confessional statement shown to have been recorded with Taj implicating himself is not voluntary. The statement was extracted through violence, coercion and threats, and has no legal value,” the petition stated.

It further said the arrest, trials and sentence have no evidentiary value. “The trial was not conducted fairly and the charges were never made public. Taj was also not provided with a counsel of his choice,” Taj’s mother said.

PHC has been requested to set aside the death sentence and declare it illegal, without jurisdiction and based on no evidence.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 4th,  2015.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (13)

  • Fareed
    Sep 4, 2015 - 9:54AM

    His wife, Yasmeen, was admitted to the
    Khyber Teaching Hospital for a
    pregnancy related complication on
    December 16, 2014. Taj was with her at
    the time the attack happened as she
    gave birth to a child who died the
    very next day on December 17, 2014,
    the petition read.

    This is the result of military courts. No evidence, no due process and definitely no fair trial.Recommend

  • Neutral
    Sep 4, 2015 - 10:13AM

    i hope this doesn’t plus to the count of 2000 terrorists set free by courts. Recommend

  • Fahim
    Sep 4, 2015 - 10:34AM

    Taj was with her at
    the time the attack happened as she
    gave birth to a child who died the
    very next day on December 17, 2014,
    the petition read.

    Allah’s justice and court justice going.Recommend

  • AJamal
    Sep 4, 2015 - 10:39AM

    This is blind process and can’t be called justice. Judicial system must be overhauled urgently to deal with grievances and crimes. Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Sep 4, 2015 - 10:49AM

    @Fareed:
    He is convicted of ‘harboring’ a suicide bomber…. result of reading but not understanding and hence drawing ill founded conclusion.Recommend

  • Pakistani Dude
    Sep 4, 2015 - 10:52AM

    Every convict says he is innocent after being arrested. If this man Taj really supported terrorists then Allah has taken revenge from him. Now Taj has to face the punishment of his wrongdoings. Recommend

  • hasan
    Sep 4, 2015 - 10:54AM

    @fareed….the petition said he was the facilitator, it was never mentioned that he took the gun and opened fire at APS children. Result of the military courts is seen all over the pakistan, your “DEMOCRACY” have pampered the death sentence convicted people for almost 10 years. Military courts have brought them down to justice. Military action, Military courts are the only solution for the peace in pakistan. You are worried cuzz your favorite political leaders will soon be hanged INSHALLAH.

    and by the way, you didnt read the statement where it is mentioned that he was in wana etc for 40 days. was he on some business trip? Open your eyes.Recommend

  • Fahim
    Sep 4, 2015 - 11:23AM

    Judge who accepted it should be hangedRecommend

  • A J Khan
    Sep 4, 2015 - 12:30PM

    @Fareed:
    The terrorist said it and you believed it. What an easy way to administer justice.

    The dysfunction, greed & lethargy of Bench & bar has encouraged terrorism. Military Courts are the only answer to the menace.Recommend

  • A J Khan
    Sep 4, 2015 - 12:33PM

    Some Devil Advocates are always ready to deny Justice to victims. Who so ever pleads case of terrorists is in effect their supporter.Recommend

  • sanaiqbal
    Sep 4, 2015 - 2:21PM

    he was the aide not the terrorist who gunned those children down.hes equally guilty.and death penalty is the justice thats allRecommend

  • Furqan
    Sep 4, 2015 - 8:07PM

    He was sentenced for harboring a suicide bomber. Fact that he was with his wife or not stays invalid.Recommend

  • Ahmed
    Sep 5, 2015 - 10:33PM

    ET please post my comments.
    If anyone out of you can claim that his own bro or dad was picked up by agencies without any reason then comment. But please who can say that the gentleman was with her wife but not harboring terrorists. these people who are commenting are non Pakistani bearing the names of our our Pakistani brethren. Long live PakistanRecommend

More in K-P