Islamabad: Pakistan on Wednesday hanged four more”hard core” Taliban terrorists convicted of “heinous” terrorism-related offences by controversial military courts, taking the number to over 150 since the Peshawar attack in 2014.
The terrorists, who were involved in killing of innocent civilians and attacking armed forces, were executed early on Wednesday, the army said in a statement.
“Another four hardcore terrorists, who were tried by Military Courts have been executed today. These terrorists were involved in committing heinous offences relating to terrorism, including killing of innocent civilians, attacking Armed Forces of Pakistan and Law Enforcement Agencies,” it said.
The terrorists were active members of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and had confessed to their crimes to a magistrate and the trial court, it added.
Military courts were restored in March for another two years after their initial two-year term expired in January.
The courts were set up after a constitutional amendment following a terror attack on an army-run school in Peshawar in December 2014 which killed more than 150 people, most of them students.
Human rights group Justice Project Pakistan says 441 people have been executed since the Peshawar attack. While Pakistani authorities maintain the military courts are an “effective deterrent” against terrorism, rights groups question transparency of the trials because of the secrecy surrounding the special tribunals.
The Amnesty International in a worldwide report has said that Pakistan has reduced the number of executions by 73 per cent in 2016 compared to the year before.
Pakistan has been fighting various extremist groups for over a decade. Militant attacks have killed tens of thousands of people. The military courts have handed down the death penalty to more than 160 militants.