Pakistan executes four terror convicts

Islamabad: Four convicts, involved in an attack on former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf 11 years ago, were hanged to death Sunday at a district jail in Faisalabad following approval by the government to implement executions in terrorism-related cases.

Zubair Ahmed, Rasheed Qureshi, Ghulam Sarwar Bhatti and Russian citizen Akhlaque Ahmed were shifted from the central jail in Faisalabad to another district jail late Saturday to be hanged, Dawn online reported.

The family members were allowed to meet the convicts before the hanging. Strict security measures were put in place with additional contingents of security personnel deployed on the routes leading to the district jail.

The militants' death penalties were signed by Pakistan's Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif. Musharraf narrowly escaped when two suicide car bombers rammed their vehicle into his motorcade Dec 25, 2003, in Rawalpindi.

Fifteen people, including soldiers, were killed in the attack which was the second attempt on Musharraf's life that month. Following the attack, several militants, including the four hanged Sunday, were arrested.

Preparations are underway in Lahore for the execution of four other prisoners in Kot Lakhpat Central Jail. The executions are expected to be carried out within the next one or two days, media reports said. All the roads leading to the detention facility in Lahore have been blocked and mobile phone jammers have been installed around the jail premises.

In Sindh province's Sukkur city, two terrorists belonging to the outlawed Lashkar-i-Jhangvi will be executed Tuesday. Attaullah alias Qasim and Mohammad Azam alias Sharif were given death sentence by an anti-terrorism court in 2004 for killing a person on sectarian grounds in 2001.

On Friday, two former soldiers were executed in Faisalabad. One of them was executed for the 2009 attack on the Pakistan Army General Headquarters in Rawalpindi. Another was hanged for his role in an attempt to kill Musharraf in 2003.

Pakistan has started executing terrorists sentenced to death after a terrorist attack left over 140 students and teachers dead in a Peshawar school Dec 16. The government was keeping a moratorium on death penalty since 2008, due to which their execution could not take place earlier.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Wednesday announced the lifting of the moratorium on executions in Pakistan. The Taliban group in Pakistan has said it would avenge the deaths of its members. Officials say that security has also been tightened in jails across Pakistan in view of the possible hanging of more convicted militants.

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