ISLAMABAD (AFP) – Pakistan plans to execute around 500 militants in coming weeks, officials said Monday, after the government lifted a moratorium on the death penalty in terror cases following a Taleban school massacre.
Six militants have been hanged since Friday amid rising public anger over Tuesday’s slaughter in the northwestern city of Peshawar, which left 149 people dead including 133 children.
After the deadliest terror attack in Pakistani history, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif ended the six-year moratorium on the death penalty, reinstating it for terrorism-related cases. “Interior ministry has finalised the cases of 500 convicts who have exhausted all the appeals, their mercy petitions have been turned down by the president and their executions will take place in coming weeks,” a senior government official told AFP on condition of anonymity.
A second official confirmed the information.
Of the six hanged so far, five were involved in a failed attempt to assassinate then military ruler Pervez Musharraf in 2003, while one was involved in a 2009 attack on army headquarters.
Police, troops and paramilitary rangers have been deployed across the country and airports and prisons put on red alert during the executions and as troops intensify operations against Taleban militants.