Chief of Army Staff (COAS) has signed the death sentence of five militants convicted as terrorists, Waqt News reported. They were convicted by the military court where the cases were heard. According to reports these militants were involved in the Safora Chowrangi attack, the murder of activist Sabeen Mehmood and planting the explosive material near Saleh Masjid in Karachi.
The convicted terrorists include Saad Aziz, the IBA student found guilty of murdering Sabeen Mahmud, the director of T2F who was killed on April 24, 2015 in Karachi.
According to reports the Safoora attack mastermind was also the planner of Sabeen Mehmud’s murder.
Banned militant outfit Jundullah attacked a bus carrying Ismaili Shia Muslims near Safoora Goth Chowrangi in Karachi on May 13, 2015. 46 Ismailis were killed in the attack.
Political parties had unanimously agreed on setting up military courts to tackle terrorism cases in the country following the gruesome attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar in December 2014, following which the Parliament passed the 21st Constitutional Amendment in Jan 2015 to set up the said 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 in-camera trials, i.e. without the presence of the public or the media and through video link, if necessary.
The Supreme Court, in a majority ruling, upheld the establishment of military courts in Pakistan.
The authorities have hanged more than 300 people since lifting a moratorium on the death penalty in December 2014; many of them convicted in closed military courts which critics say fail to meet fair trial standards. In June 2014, the army launched an operation in a bid to wipe out militant bases in North Waziristan tribal area and end the bloody decade-long insurgency that has cost thousands of lives.
On the other hand international organizations like United Nations, European Union and Amnesty International have criticized Pakistan on allowing the capital punishment. These organizations have called this step, against the basic human rights.