October 20, 2016Print : National
PESHAWAR: The wife of a convicted militant from Swat district on Wednesday challenged the death sentence awarded to him in the Peshawar High Court (PHC).
The man was sentenced by a military court on the charges of kidnapping Lieutenant Colonel (rtd) Khaqaan Afzal and slaughtering Umar Ghani, a retired sub-inspector of police.Mst Abida, a resident of Sharifabad in Swat district challenged the sentence through her lawyer Muhammad Arif Jan.
She claimed in the petition that her husband Anwar Zeb on April 2, 2010 surrendered to the security forces deployed to conduct military operation in Swat and was then shifted to an unknown place.The petitioner stated that her husband was subsequently shifted to the Internment Center Paitham in Swat where relatives met him thrice.
It was stated in the petition that her family recently came to know through the media that her husband had been awarded death sentence by a military court and the Army chief had confirmed the sentence on October 12. The petitioner noted that she and her relatives had time and again requested the authorities to release him and provide record of the cases against him, but to no avail.
The petitioner prayed the court to declare the death sentence awarded by the military court to her husband patently illegal as no chance of defence was given to the convict.“The procedures/proceedings adopted by the respondents against the convict are totally alien to the law of the land and is equal to “might is right”. If there were charges against the petitioner then why he was not charged accordingly under the relevant special law,” it was stated in the petition.
“The convict was an active member of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and was involved in abduction of Lieutenant Colonel (R) Khaqan Afzal, slaughtering of SI (R) Umar Ghani and killing a civilian,” said the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) in a statement released on October 12.
It said that he was also in possession of firearms and explosives. “The convict confessed to his offences before the magistrate and the trial court. He was awarded death sentence,” the ISPR stated.
The petitioner was one of the 10 convicts whose death sentences were confirmed by Chief of the Army Staff. They were awarded sentences for involvement in heinous offences including the killing of innocent citizens, female anti-polio workers, non-governmental organisations’ employees, police officials and armed forces personnel.
A division bench of PHC comprising Chief Justice Mazhar Alam Miankhel and Justice Muhammad Ibrahim Khan will take up nine cases of the convicts for a full hearing. These men were awarded death sentences by military courts and stayed by the high court till final decision in the cases.
The Peshawar High Court has notified the proceedings of the cases as in-camera after availability of the confidential record by the military courts.