Pak executes 2 militants after lifting ban on death penalty

Islamabad: Pakistani authorities tonight executed two men convicted for attacks on the army headquarters and former military ruler Pervez Musharraf, days after Pakistan lifted its moratorium on the death penalty.

The two are among 17 terrorists who would be executed in the first phase after the end of self-imposed moratorium by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in the wake of Tuesday’s Peshawar school massacre.

Aqeel alias Dr Usman was injured and captured alive during the attack at Rawalpindi’s Army General Headquarters (GHQ) in 2009 and sentenced to death, while Arshad Mehmood, also known as Mehrban, was convicted for an assassination attempt on former president and army chief Musharraf.

Major private TV channels including Geo and Dunya TV reported that both Aqeel and Mehmood were hanged at about 9.00 pm (local time) in Faisalabad jail.

Medical check-up of both militants was conducted and they were allowed to record their last will before executions.

No official was immediately available to comment on the executions.

Earlier, a senior official said that Aqeel’s family met him for the last time in Faisalabad jail where preparations were made to hang him as there was no legal hurdle to his execution.

Army Chief General Raheel Sharif last night signed death warrants of six persons involved in terrorism against the armed forces.

Mehmood was among the five sentenced to death for the attack on Musharraf in 2003 who survived but 15 other people were killed.

Pakistan ended its moratorium on the death penalty a day after terrorists attacked Peshawar’s Army Public School, killing 148 people, most of them children.

Several militants are in line to be executed and will be hanged in coming days, including four militants held in Kot Lakhpat jail in Lahore who are expected to be hanged tomorrow.