Death penalty handed out to Tal­iban group

Pak­istan court rul­ing over po­lice killing

7 Days in Dubai - - GLOBAL NEWS -

Pak­istan’s army chief has signed off on the death sen­tences of 11 mem­bers of the Tal­iban con­victed of ter­ror­ism, kid­nap­pings, at­tacks on civil­ians as well as as­saults on po­lice and army of­fi­cers.

The 11 were tried by mil­i­tary courts in closed-door tri­als, the army said.

Pak­istan started mil­i­tary tri­als for those sus­pected of ter­ror­ism in late 2014, af­ter lift­ing a 2008 mora­to­rium on the death penalty fol­low­ing the Peshawar school mas­sacre that killed more than 150, mostly chil­dren.

In cases of cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment handed down by mil­i­tary courts, the army chief is re­quired to con­firm the sen­tences.

A Pak­istani army state­ment said Gen­eral Ra­heel Sharif signed off on the sen­tences.

It was not im­me­di­ately known when the ex­e­cu­tions would take place. The 11 have the right to ap­peal.

Four of the Tal­iban mil­i­tants - iden­ti­fied as Maulvi Dil­bar Khan, Hameedul­lah, Mo­ham­mad Nabi and Rehmat­ul­lah - con­fessed to killing a po­lice chief and two se­nior army of­fi­cers in a 2013 at­tack in north­ern Pak­istani dis­trict of Chi­las, the state­ment said.

The three of­fi­cers were shot and killed dur­ing their in­ves­ti­ga­tion of an ear­lier Tal­iban at­tack, which killed nine for­eign climbers at the base camp of Nanga Par­bat, one of the tallest peaks in the world.

So far, some 207 Tal­iban mil­i­tant sus­pects have gone on trial be­fore mil­i­tary courts, and ver­dicts for 88 of them have been an­nounced, army spokesman Gen Asim Ba­jwa told Dunya News TV.

The Pak­istani Tal­iban and al­lied mil­i­tant groups have been wag­ing a war on the state for over a decade, killing tens of thou­sands.

The army in 2014 launched wide-scale op­er­a­tions tar­get­ing mil­i­tant sanc­tu­ar­ies in Pak­istan’s law­less tribal ar­eas. Ma­jor op­er­a­tions there are now al­most fin­ished, Ba­jwa said, ad­ding that the mil­i­tary now was fo­cus­ing on in­tel­li­gence-based op­er­a­tions against mil­i­tants in Pak­istani cities.

Hu­man rights groups have raised con­cerns over pro­ceed­ings be­fore mil­i­tary courts, which are off lim­its to the me­dia and the pub­lic.

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