Lahore: Five Pakistani terrorists were today sentenced to death by the high court here for attacking an army camp as the government continued to move ahead swiftly with executions of convicted militants in the aftermath of the grisly Peshawar school attack.
Justice Arshad Mahmood Tabassum of the Rawalpindi bench of Lahore High Court admitted the plea of the government and vacated the stay against the execution of the death-row prisoners involved in the attack on an army camp near River Chenab in Jehlum district and on the ISI office in Multan district of Punjab.
Umar Nadeem, Ahsan Azim, Amir Yousuf, Asif Idrees and Kamran were handed down death sentences by a military court. They are languishing at the Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore (where India national Sarabjit Singh was killed by inmates). “As their death warrants have been issued they may be executed any time today or tomorrow,” Kot Lakhpat Jail superintendent Asad Warriach said.
Law officer Sajid Ilays Bhatti representing the federal government argued against the stay of the convicts' executions challenging their plea that they were not provided with any information pertaining to the case including the charge sheet as well as the summary of evidence and trial proceedings. After hearing the arguments of the law officer and counsel of the convicts the judge vacated the stay and allowed the executions.
So far, six terrorists, including two former military men, have been executed in the Faisalabad district jail, 140 kilometres from here.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's government has ended a six-year moratorium on executions, a move largely in response to national outrage after last week's Peshawar school attack that killed 150 people, mostly children. Meanwhile, two death row convicts today challenged their execution in the Supreme Court saying they had already served life sentences and could not be punished for the same crime twice.
Gang rape convicts Abid Maqsood and Sanaullah alias Billu, in their petitions said it was not their fault if their death sentences handed down by an anti-terrorism court were not carried out over the past 17 years.
Both were convicted and sentenced to death in June 1998 on the charges of raping a woman in 1997. They had filed appeals in the Supreme Court in 2006 which were rejected.