Pakistan army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa today confirmed the death sentences of eight “hardcore terrorists” by the military courts for killing 45 Shia Ismaili Muslims, murdering human rights activist Sabeen Mahmud and attacking security forces. Gen Bajwa also confirmed life imprisonment of three other terrorists, Director-General Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor said. “These terrorists include those who planned and executed attack on persons of Ismaili community at Safoora Chowrangi Karachi, wherein 45 persons died at the spot and 6 others got injured. They also include those who killed a social worker Sabeen Mahmud, and kidnapped two Chinese Engineers and a civilian for ransom,” ISPR said.
The “terrorists” killed 90 people and wounded 99 others, ISPR said, adding that explosives were also recovered from their possession. Hafiz Muhammad Umar, Ali Rehman, Abdul Salam and Khurram Shafique were awarded death sentences for their involvement in Safoora Chowrangi massacre and killing of Mahmud in Karachi. In the cold-blooded sectarian violence, Kalashnikov- wielding militants donning police uniforms had gunned down 45 Shia Ismaili Muslims – 26 men and 17 women – shooting them in the head near Shafoora Chowrangi in Karachi in May last year.
Jundullah – a splinter group of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan that vowed allegiance to the ISIS had claimed responsibility for the attack. Mahmud, 40, was shot dead by the motorcycle-borne gunmen while on her way home with her mother in Karachi in April last year. Mahmud ran an open forum called The Second Floor (T2F) for discussions on human rights abuses in Balochistan and other civil rights issues.
Another convict Muslim Khan was awarded the death sentence for his involvement in killing of civilians and attacking forces, which resulted in the deaths of 31 persons. He was involved in slaughtering of Capt Najam Riaz Raja, Capt Juniad Khan, Naik Shahid Rasool and Lance Naik Shakeel Ahmed. He was also involved in kidnapping of two Chinese engineers. Muhammad Yousaf, a member of proscribed organisation, was was awarded the death sentence for his involvement in attacks on armed forces which resulted in the deaths of four soldiers.
Saifullah and Bilal Mehmood, both members of a proscribed group, were awarded the death sentences for their involvement in killing of innocent civilians and attacks on police. Sartaj Ali, Mehmood Khan and Fazal e Ghaffar, all members of a proscribed organisation, were involved in providing funds to the terrorists, kidnapping of a Chinese engineer for ransom and attacks on police, were awarded rigorous imprisonment.
Last week, General Bajwa signed death warrants of 13 “hardcore terrorists” who were found guilty of being behind a series of terrorist attacks, including those on Charsadda’s Bacha Khan University, Rawalpindi’s Parade Lane Mosque and the Marriot Hotel in Islamabad.