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Two sentenced by military courts hanged in Sahiwal

March 24, 2016

LAHORE: Two convicts, tried and sentenced by military courts for their of involvement in "terrorist attacks", were hanged at a high-security prison in Sahiwal on Thursday morning, an Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) statement said.

Prison Superintendent Chaudhry Naveed Ashraf said Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif signed the death warrants for Obaidullah and Sohail two days ago.

Military courts awarded the death sentence to Obaidullah on April 7, 2015, and Sohail on August 15, 2015, the ISPR statement added.

ISPR earlier provided the following details about the convicts:

Obaid Ullah s/o Mohammad Azam Baloch: The convict was an active member of Harkatul Jehad-i-Islami. He involved in attacking armed forces personnel in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), which resulted in the death of two soldiers and injuries to 18 others, possession of a suicide jacket, fire arms, explosives and fabricating a huge quantity of explosives.

Read: Military ‘justice’

He admitted his offences before the magistrate and the trial court. He was tried on six charges and awarded death sentence.

Mohammad Sohail s/o Zahoor Ahmed: The convict was an active member of the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). He was found involved in an attack on armed forces personnel in KP which resulted in injuries to soldiers.

He was also involved in abetting an attack on Bannu jail, owing to which a large number of terrorists managed to escape and resulted in injuries to two police constables and a soldier of the Frontier Constabulary (FC).

He admitted his offences before the magistrate and the trial court. He was tried on three charges and awarded death sentence.

Military courts

In the wake of the APS carnage, military courts were set up for trying terrorists under amendments made to the Constitution and the Army Act.

Political parties had unanimously agreed over the issue of setting up military courts to tackle terrorism cases in the country following the gruesome attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar in December 2014, following which the Parliament passed the 21st constitutional amendment in Jan 2015 to set up the said courts.

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

The Supreme Court in a majority ruling upheld the establishment of military courts in Pakistan.

Petitions challenging the 21st amendment were dismissed in August this year in a majority 11-6 vote of the 17-member SC bench. Chief Justice Nasirul Mulk and Justice Dost Muhammad announced the verdict.

In a 14-3 majority vote, petitions challenging the 18th amendment were also dismissed by the bench. Judges provided seven opinions and two additional notes on the ruling.

In its editorials, Dawn has criticised the establishment of military courts for "simply not being compatible with a constitutional democracy."