Pakistan to execute three terrorists

Islamabad, Aug 14 (IANS) Pakistan has decided to go ahead with the execution of three terrorists despite threats of repercussions from the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) terror outfit.

Attaullah, Mohammad Azam and Jalal will be executed in Sukkur Central Prison Aug 20, 21 and 22 respectively.

All three belong to the terror outfit Lashkar-i-Jhangvi.

"There is a huge backlog of 450 cases and we are processing them as fast as we can," Pakistan's Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan was quoted as telling the Dawn newspaper.

"We will continue the process to implement the execution orders so that the law may take its course," he added.

The government has decided to deal with all execution cases on a case-to-case basis and those related to terrorism are being selected first, according to the Dawn report.

The TTP had warned the government of dire consequences of it went ahead with the executions.

In pamphlets distributed in southern Punjab and South and North Waziristan tribal agencies in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province bordering Afghanistan, the TTP had stated that the government would be considered at war with them if it goes on to execute their colleagues currently serving jail terms and are on death row.

However, the PML-N government has decided to hang the condemned terrorists in order to dismantle their network.

The decision of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government to start the executions of condemned prisoners comes after the moratorium on executions under a 2008 presidential order during the previous Pakistan People's Party (PPP) government ended June 30 this year.

Pakistan Information Minister Pervez Rashid said that the strategy to counter the threats against the PML-N or the federal or Punjab governments could not be discussed in front of the media.

Meanwhile the files for the execution of five more prisoners belonging to the Lashkar-Jhangvi and the TTP have been forwarded to the prime minister's office to be sent to the president's office so that the death warrants could be issued.

However, interior ministry sources said that the authorities might have to wait till new president Mamnoon Hussain takes over Sep 8 for the clearance as incumbent President Asi Ali Zardari had initially resisted clearing the death warrants of Attaullah, Azam and Jalal last month.

"The government may have to wait till the new president takes charge Sep 8," an interior ministry official was quoted as saying.

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