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Army chief signs death sentence for 13 terrorists

RAWALPINDI: Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Monday ratified death sentence of 13 hardened terrorists involved in heinous crimes.

According to military’s public affairs wing Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the terrorists were involved in killing of 202 people.

Among those killed by the terrorists, 51 of them were security personnel while 151 citizens. At least 249 persons were also injured in the terrorist attacks,” the ISPR statement added.

Trials of all the ‘hardened terrorists’ were conducted in the military courts.

The terrorists included Muneer Rehman, Muhammad Basheer, Hafiz Abdullah, Bakhtullah, Shah Khan, Sohail Khan, Dawood Shah, Muhammad Muneed, Ali Sher , Habeebullah, Muhammad Asif, Gul Shah and Jalal Hussain.

Military courts revived in Pakistan

Meanwhile, the COAS also confirmed life imprisonment of seven terrorists.

One of the attackers sentenced for life was involved in bomb blast outside then National Assembly member Rashid Khan Nawani in 2008 that had killed 21 people.

The Parliament passed the 21st Amendment and the Pakistan Army Act, 1952, in January 2015 to establish speedy trial military courts after the 2014 Army Public School massacre.

The military courts came to power in the country after special powers were given to the army under the 21st constitutional amendment and the Pakistan Army (Amendment) Bill, 2015, enacted by parliament on Jan 6, 2015, in the aftermath of the Army Public School tragedy.

The two houses of parliament had on that occasion voted unanimously for the legislation despite fears among the lawmakers that the tribunals they were authorising would not be able to ensure due process to the suspects and might undermine democracy.

The special powers given to the army to establish tribunals for trying civi­lians on terrorism charges ended after two years as the sunset clause contained in the legislation covering trials by military courts takes effect on January 7. 2017.

But on March 31, 2017, then president Mamnoon Hussain had given his formal assent to the Pakistan Army Act 2017 and the 23rd Constitutional Amendment Bill ─ the two pieces of legislation aimed at granting legal cover to military courts.

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