Courtesy Dawn newspaper

Rawalpindi, December 16

Pakistan Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa on Friday confirmed the death sentences of 13 ‘hardcore terrorists’, Inter-Services Public Relations said in a press release.

The 13 were involved in heinous offences related to terrorism, including the killing and slaughtering of innocent civilians, officials of law enforcement agencies and the armed forces, ISPR said.

The development comes as Pakistan marks the second anniversary of the horrific attack on Peshawar’s Army Public School in 2014, in which at least 144 people ─ most of them children ─ were killed by Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan gunmen.

APS attack mastermind Umar Mansour was also behind the attack on Charsadda’s Bacha Khan University earlier this year.

The ISPR statement today said the suspected terrorists were involved in the planning and execution of the Bacha Khan, Parade Lane mosque, Marriott Hotel and World Vision NGO attacks, as well as an attack on an educational institution at Nawagai, Buner.

“On the whole, they were involved in killing 325 persons and in causing injuries to 366 others. Firearms and explosives were also recovered from their possession. These convicts were tried by military courts,” ISPR said.

The power of military courts to try civilians is likely to end in a month as the government does not appear interested in extending the relevant amendment to the Constitution, which will lapse on Jan 2.

On Jan 3, 2015, parliament passed the 21st Constitution Amendment after the APS attack, bringing the civilian suspects of terrorism under the jurisdiction of the military courts which are otherwise meant to try personnel of the armed forces for disciplinary reasons or for offences mentioned in the schedule of the Pakistan Army Act (PAA) 1952.

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