Six militants involved in the brutal massacre of over 150 people, mostly school children, at a military-run school in Peshawar have been sentenced to death while one has been handed down life imprisonment by military courts, the Pakistan army announced today.
Army Spokesman Major General Asim Bajwa said eight terrorists were convicted for militancy, including seven involved in the Peshawar school attack last December.
Out of the seven convicted in the Peshawar school massacre case, six were given death sentence while one was handed down imprisonment for life. Of the seven convicted, six belonged to the Toheedwal Jihad Group (TWJ) while one was an an active member of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
Apart from the seven militants, another terrorist, who was was an active member of Jaish-e-Muhammad, was awarded the death sentence for involvement in an attack on soldiers of Pakistan Rangers, Sindh, at Safoora Chowk, Karachi, in 2011.
"Chief of Army Staff today confirms death sentence of seven hardcore terrorists involved in Army Public School Peshawar and Safoora Chowrangi Karachi incidents," Bajwa said.
He said all eight terrorists were tried by military courts established under the Pakistan Army (Amendment) Act, 2015 and set up in the aftermath of the Peshawar attack.
"In view of the nature and gravity of offences preferred against each, seven terrorists have been awarded death sentences, whereas one terrorist has been awarded life imprisonment by the military courts," Bajwa said.
He also said that the convicts were given a fair trial in which all the legal formalities were followed and legal aid and defence counsels provided to the accused.
The convicts have the right to file an appeal before the Court of Appeals.
151 people including 125 children were killed when terrorists attacked the Army Public School in Peshawar on December 16, 2014. Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) had claimed responsibility for the attack.
Following the attack, the government had lifted the moratorium on the death penalty and the Parliament passed the 21st amendment which established military courts which was challeged in the Supreme Court. The apex court ruled in favour of setting up of the courts earlier this month.
Three soldiers were killed and four others injured in an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) attack on Pakistan Rangers at Safoora Chowk in Karachi in 2011.