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Dr Usman and Arshad Mehmood executed

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Pakistan News : In the first execution carried out after the end of a six-year-old moratorium on capital punishment, Pakistan Friday hanged two hardcore terrorists until death.

Field General Court Martial (FGCM) had sentenced Aqeel aka Dr Usman to death his involvement in an attack on General Headquarters (GHQ), whereas Arshad Meherban was on death row for attempting to bomb former army chief Gen (Retd) Pervez Musharraf.

Inter-Services Public Relations has confirmed that both the convicts were sent to gallows in Faisalabad District Jail. According to sources privy to the matters, the families of terrorists paid their last visit to the terrorists before they were executed by hanging.

In his reaction to the hangings, Musharraf said, “All those who subject their fellow countrymen to such atrocities deserve a fate like this.” The former military ruler added that execution of enemies of state boded well for Pakistan.

“Today justice was served in all respects,” the retired general said triumphantly.

Yesterday, army chief General Raheel Sharif signed death warrants for six militants on death row after the government ended the said moratorium.

“COAS (Chief of Army Staff) today signed death warrants of 6 hardcore terrorists (pending execution) convicted by FGCM in accordance with law,” military spokesman Major General Asim Bajwa tweeted. Security officials said the six were convicted by a military court and were awaiting execution.

The announcement came hours after the government warned prison officials of a possible jailbreak in the restive northwest province of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa following the end of the moratorium.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced on Wednesday an end to the moratorium on the death penalty in terror-related cases after a Pakistani Taliban massacre at a military-run school killed 148 people, mostly children. The assault in the northwestern city of Peshawar is the deadliest ever terror attack in Pakistan and has shocked the nation.

Political and military leaders have vowed in response to wipe out the homegrown Islamist insurgency that has killed thousands of ordinary Pakistanis in recent years.

Pakistan imposed a de facto moratorium on civilian executions in 2008, though hanging remains on the statute book and judges continue to pass the death sentence. Only one person has been executed since then, a soldier convicted by a court martial and hanged in November 2012.

Rights campaign group Amnesty International estimates that Pakistan has more than 8,000 prisoners on death row, most of whom have exhausted the appeals process.

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