Pakistan executes four Taliban members

May 3, 2017

Pakistan has executed four terrorists involved in killing civilians and attacking the army and law enforcement agencies, the army said in a statement published Wednesday.

All four terrorists were active members of the Islamist Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and tried by the military courts, the military’s media wing ISPR said.

The army said the executions took place on Wednesday morning.

Pakistan had lifted a moratorium on the death penalty and set up military courts following a particularly bloody terrorist attack on an army school in northern Peshawar city in December 2014 that killed over 140 people, mostly children.

A substantial rise in executions was witnessed after the decision.

In 2015, the state executed 367 people, putting Pakistan together with China and Iran among the top three executioners in the world.

However, in 2016, state executions dropped by 73%, rights group Amnesty International said in a report released in April.

Experts say this also had to do with international protests.

This year, according to a member of rights group Justice Project Pakistan, Muhammd Shoaib, so far 25 people were hanged.

Up to 8200 people are still on death row, he added.

The establishment of military courts is part of the 20-point National Action Plan the government devised to combat terrorism after the Peshawar attack.

Their mandate was recently extended for another two years, although their decisions have been criticised as intransparent and with little impact on deterring terrorists.

The decision came after a new wave of attacks by Islamist groups starting in February, after two relatively peaceful years for the terror-stricken state. – DPA