Pakistan

RAWALPINDI (Staff Report) – Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif on Thursday signed the death warrants of five hardcore terrorists, including the killers of Sabeen Mahmud.


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An ISPR statement said the men were convicted for “perpetrating the Safoora bus attack”. They were also involved in improvised explosive device (IED) blast near Saleh Masjid Karachi, the killing of social worker Sabeen Mahmud and various attacks on law enforcement agencies, according to the statement.

All culprits were tried in the military courts after which General Raheel finalized the death sentences. The convicted criminals included IBA student Saad Aziz, who confessed to Sabeen Mahmud’s killing and a number of other devastating attacks.

Safoora Bus Attack: Investigators collect academic record of IBA student Saad Aziz

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Earlier on March 15, the army chief had confirmed death sentences of 13 militants, including one involved in the killing foreign tourists in Nanga Parbat.

Related: T2F Director Sabeen Mahmud gunned down in Karachi

Military courts were set up in the wake of the APS carnage, for trying terrorists under amendments made to the Constitution and the Army Act.

Political parties had unanimously agreed on the setting up military courts to tackle terrorism cases in the country, following which the Parliament passed the 21st constitutional amendment in Jan 2015 to provide legal cover for civilians to be tried under military courts.

President Mamnoon Hussain had also promulgated an ordinance further revising the recently amended Army Act to ostensibly aid the functioning of military courts by allowing for trials in camera, i.e without the presence of the public or the media, and over video link, if necessary.

The Supreme Court in a majority ruling recently upheld the establishment of military courts in Pakistan.