Jailbreak threat looms for KP prisons as execution moratorium lifted

December 18, 2014

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In this photo, security officials gather at the damaged main entrance of a prison following an attack by armed militants in Bannu on April 15, 2012. — AFP/File
In this photo, security officials gather at the damaged main entrance of a prison following an attack by armed militants in Bannu on April 15, 2012. — AFP/File

PESHAWAR: As Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif decided to lift the moratorium on death penalties in terrorism cases, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Inspector General of Prisons alerted the provincial government on Thursday that militants may storm jails to free high-profile prisoners.

In a letter to the KP provincial government, a copy of which is available with Dawn, the IG Prisons says militants are kept in Haripur and Peshawar jails, whereas Kohat, Timergara, Bannu, D.I. Khan and Manshera have high-profile militants. It added that militants may forcefully free prisoners before execution.

Read: Pakistani Taliban free over 175 inmates in DI Khan jailbreak

The IG requested that the KP government issue a security alert to law enforcement agencies to ensure fool-proof security arrangements of all jails in the province.

Last year in July 2013, dozens of heavily-armed Pakistani Taliban insurgents had freed nearly 175 inmates, including 35 ‘high-profile militants’, during a brazen attack on the central jail in Dera Ismail Khan. At least nine people, including four policemen and five militants, were killed in the attack.

In April 2012, over 100 militants had stormed into the central prison of Bannu and freed 384 prisoners. The outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) had claimed the responsibility for the attack.

Read: Dangerous militants among 384 escape after Bannu jail attack

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced lifting of moratorium on death penalty for those convicted for terrorism after a deadly attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar which left more than 130 children dead on Dec 16.

Addressing an All Parties Conference yesterday, the premier had announced that the moratorium on death penalty, which was imposed under international pressure, has been lifted.

Read: Nawaz removes moratorium on death penalty