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‘Butcher of Swat’ to be hanged by military court

RAWALPINDI: Notorious Taliban leader Muslim Khan, known as ‘Butcher of Swat’ will face the gallows after the army chief confirmed his death sentence alongside seven other terrorists this week.

According to ISPR, Muslim Khan was a spokesman for a proscribed organisation. He was involved in the killing of innocent civilians, attacking armed forces and law enforcement agencies of Pakistan, which resulted in the death of 31 persons including Inspector Sher Ali of police and injuries to 69 others.

He was among eight terrorists whose death sentences were confirmed by Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Wednesday.

Muslim Khan was involved in the slaughtering of Capt Najam Riaz Raja, Capt JuniadKhan, Naik Shahid Rasool and Lance Naik Shakeel Ahmed. He was also involved in kidnapping two Chinese engineers and a local civilian for ransom.

The convict has admitted his offences before the Magistrate and the trial court, said the ISPR statement.

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‘Butcher of Swat’ pictured after his arrest in 2009. Photo via BBC

Why he was called ‘Butcher of Swat’?

In 2007, Muslim Khan became the chief spokesman of the Swat Taliban, and was the movement’s public face during its stranglehold over the territory which continued until the winter of 2009.

His forceful defence of the Taliban’s policy of killings, beheadings and the destruction of schools in Swat made him cynosure among militants and earned him the title of “butchers of Swat”. Swat Taliban chief Mullah Fazlullah was also called with the same name.

On December 17, 2014, Pakistan lift a moratorium on the death penalty, a day after Taliban gunmen attacked Army Public School Peshawar, killing 132 students and nine teachers.

The bloodshed had shocked the nation and put pressure on the government to do more to tackle the Taliban insurgency.

A moratorium on the death penalty was imposed in 2008 after the Pakistan People’s Party government took power and only one execution has taken place since then.

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