Military courts announce death sentences of six convicts

Published April 2, 2015
The convicted criminals were involved in heinous acts of terror. -AP/File
The convicted criminals were involved in heinous acts of terror. -AP/File

ISLAMABAD: Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif confirmed the death sentence given to six hardened terrorists who were tried by the recently established military courts, said an ISPR statement issued on Thursday.

The director general of military’s media wing, Major General Asim Saleem Bajwa, said that seven hardened terrorists involved in committing heinous offences related to terrorism, manslaughter, causing colossal damage to life and property, suicide bombing and abduction for ransom were tried by military courts established under the Pakistan Army ( Amendment) Act, 2015.

In view of the nature and gravity of offences levelled against each, six terrorists were given death sentences while another was given life imprisonment by military courts.

These sentences of death were confirmed by the General Raheel Sharif. The convicts have the right to file an appeal before the court of appeals against the ruling.

Those awarded death sentence include Noor Saeed, Haider Ali, Murad Khan, Inayatullah, Israr uddin and Qari Zahir. Moreover, Abbas has been sentenced life imprisonment.

Also read: Protection for military courts

Political parties had unanimously agreed over the issue of setting up military courts for tackling terrorism cases in the country following the gruesome attack on APS Peshawar on December 16.

President Mamnoon Hussain had promulgated an ordinance further revising the recently amended Army Act to ostensibly aid the functioning of military courts by allowing for trials in camera, ie without the presence of the public or the media, and over video link if necessary.

Know more: Military courts: a wrong move

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) had expressed serious alarm over the decision to set up military courts to try terror suspects and has termed it against the law and constitution.

Also read: Military courts extended to Fata

“The commission is dismayed that all political parties supported this unfortunate decision, although some had earlier expressed reservations. HRCP has a number of concerns over this move," chairperson of the commission Zohra Yusuf said in a statement.

Military courts were mooted as a narrow and limited solution to a very serious problem: hardcore terrorists and terrorist masterminds who needed to be convicted and remain convicts in a broken criminal justice system.

Already though there are suggestions in various quarters, usually in response to an unforeseen and undesirable event, that the scope of military courts be expanded.

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