Army chief approves death penalty for 10 terrorists

Islamabad: Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Monday approved the death penalty for 10 terrorists.

The army chief confirmed death sentence for 10 “hardcore terrorists” and imprisonment to five others who were tried by special military courts. The convicts also include terrorist who killed the famed Pakistani qawwal (musician) Amjad Sabri in Karachi.

According to an Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) statement issued on Monday, the terrorists “were involved in heinous offences related to terrorism, including killing of innocent civilians and attacking Pearl Continental Hotel Peshawar as well as Law Enforcement Agencies/Armed Forces of Pakistan.”

The 10 militants were involved in the killing of 62 persons, including 5 civilians, 11 police officials and 46 Frontier Constabulary/Armed Forces Personnel, according to the ISPR statement which added that arms and explosives were also recovered from their possession.

The terrorists — identified as Mohammad Ishaq, Mohammad Rafique, Mohammad Arish, Habibur Rehman, Mohammad Fayaz, Esmail Shah, Mohammad Fazal, Hazrat Ali, Mohammad Asim and Habibullah — were all members of proscribed organisation. Pakistan had legalised military court trials of terror suspects for a period of two years in January 2015 after terrorists killed 144 people, mostly children, at an Army Public School (APS) in Peshawar.

Since their reinstatement in 2015, military courts in Pakistan have sentenced 186 convicts to death and issued verdicts for more than 300 terrorism-related cases, according to Ministry of Defence.

In 2017, President Mamnoon Hussain signed the 28th Amendment Bill 2017 extending the tenure of military courts for another two years. The two Acts – Pakistan Army Act 2017 and the 28th Constitutional Amendment Bill – extended the duration of the military courts for another two years, starting from January 7, 2017.

The convicts

1. Mohammad Ishaq and Mohammad Asim were involved in killing of famous qawwal Amjad Farid Sabri and attack against law enforcement agencies/Armed Forces of Pakistan that killed 17 officials.

2. Mohammad Arish Khan has been convicted for the attack on the Pearl Continental Hotel in Peshawar that killed four civilians.

3. Mohammad Rafique was convicted for attack that killed Lieutenant Colonel Mohammad Yousuf, Assistant District Officer (Frontier Constabulary) Karim Khan, Naib Subedar Fazal Wahid, Naib Subedar Mohammad Fayaz along with 16 soldiers.

4. Habib Ur Rehman was awarded death sentence for killing Lieutenant Colonel Anwar Abbas along with 3 soldiers and injuries to 15 others. He was also involved in collecting funds for the terrorist activities.

5. Mohammad Fayyaz was involved in attacking Armed Forces and Law Enforcement Agencies of Pakistan, which resulted in death of Naib Subedar Fateh Mohammad, Havildar Pervez Iqbal, Havildar Basharat Ali, Police Constable Saleem Khan and 4 other soldiers.

6. Esmail Shah was convicted for killing Naib Subedar Nasim Khan and also attacking the Armed Forces of Pakistan.

7. Fazal Mohammad was sentenced for attack against army which killed Naib Subedar Fateh Mohammad, Havildar Pervez Iqbal, Havildar Basharat Ali and 5 other soldiers.

8. Hazrat Ali took part in attacks against security forces which resulted in death of Havildar Wahab Ali and 3 other soldiers.

9. Habib Ullah was involved in an attack that killed a police constable and injured another official. He was also involved in the destruction of 3 Compact Disc Shops at Akora Khattak.

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