Woman moves PHC against conviction of son by army court

Published September 4, 2015
Taj Muhammad, alias Rizwan. ─ ISPR photo.
Taj Muhammad, alias Rizwan. ─ ISPR photo.

PESHAWAR: Mother of Taj Mohammad alias Rizwan, who was sentenced to death by a military court for involvement in the last year attack on Peshawar Army Public School, on Thursday moved the Peshawar High Court with a plea to declare his conviction illegal and unjustified.

Nek Maro had filed a petition requesting that she along with family members be allowed to meet the convicted son to know details of the military court, the charges and proceedings against him and the place of his detention.

On Aug 13, the Inter-Services Public Relations had announced the confirmation by the army chief of the death sentences awarded to seven convicted terrorists, including Taj Mohammad.

The ISPR said Taj Mohammad was an active member of Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan and that he was found involved in attacking armed forces and harbouring suicide bombers, which were later used in attack on Army Public School, killing 151 people, including 125 students.

It added that the convict had admitted his crimes before the magistrate and trial court.

However, the ISPR didn’t mention when and where his trial was conducted.

The petitioner has refuted the charges mentioned in the ISPR statement claiming from Dec 16 to Dec 20, 2014, her son had remained in the hospital with his ailing wife, who gave birth to a child on Dec 16 that expired the next day.

She claimed her son was a daily wage labourer and his survival depended on daily work.

A resident of Pawaka area in Peshawar, she claimed that Taj Mohammad was picked up from his house by personnel of secret agencies accompanied by the local police on Feb 7, 2015.

The petitioner said the family searched for Taj Mohammad but didn’t get a clue about his whereabouts and that they learned through media reports that he was convicted and sentenced to death by a military court.

She claimed her son had no criminal history except that he in the company of a local named Nazeer has visited South Waziristan in 2007 where he had stayed for 40 days in Wana.

The petitioner said after his return from Wana, her son was reprimanded and confined in the house by his late father and other relatives.

Since parliament empowered military courts to try civilians in terrorism cases by amending the Constitution and Army Act lately, the ISPR has so far announced conviction of 20 terrorists, including 18 sentenced to death and others to life imprisonment.

On April 2, the ISPR announced sentencing of six terrorists to death by the military courts, while on Aug 13, it announced the awarding of capital punishment to seven terrorists.

Later on Sept 2, the ISPR announced conviction of six terrorists five of whom were sentenced to death.

Petitions filed by mothers of two other terrorism convicts, Haider Ali and Qari Zahir Gul, have already been pending with the PHC.

Published in Dawn, September 4th, 2015

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