ISLAMABAD: Supreme Court has upheld death sentences of 16 terrorists awarded by military courts for attacks on Army Public School, parade line, Bannu Jail, army convoys and other installations, reported Monday.
A five-member bench ruled that the appellants had not proved the military violated their constitutional rights or failed to follow procedure, in a blow to some activists who contend the courts routinely violate people s rights.
16 terrorists had approached the Supreme Court against military courts’ verdicts and the order was reserved on June 20.
Those whose appeals were dismissed included nine members of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and two Al-Qaeda members, according to the military. Two convicts are said to have been involved in the Army Public School massacre.
In its 182-page judgment, the court concluded that the appellants failed to prove wrongdoing on the part of the military authorities.
Qari Zubair, Haider Ali, Qari Zahir Gul, Atiqur Rehman, Taj Muhammad, Aqsan Mehmood, Fateh Muhammad, Sher Alam, Faiz Muhammad, Muhammad Arbi, Muhammad Ghouri, Tahir Mehmood, Fazal Ghafar, Saeeduz Zaman and Sakhi Mehmood among 16 are to be hanged.
The Chief Justice rejected review appeals of all 16 death row inmates stating that military courts met all requirements of fair trials.
The government ended six-year moratorium on death penalty after Taliban attacked Army Public School in December 2014 and over 140 lives were lost, mostly students.
Military courts were established after bring an amendment in the Constitution that was passed unanimously however, Pakistan People’s Party raised concerns of misuse of the amendment for political reasons.
The government had assured the opposition of fair use of the law to try terrorists only. The Prime Minister stated that military courts were established for speedy trials of terrorists.
The military has so far convicted 104 civilians in the secret tribunals. Of those, 100 have been sentenced to death, and four to life imprisonment. All but six are said by the military to have confessed.
The 68th Anniversary of the Founding of the People’s Republic of China.
— The Daily Mail - People's Daily