98 pc terrorists' acquittal blamed for upsurge in militancy in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa

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Islamabad, Feb 26(ANI): The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Government has blamed the lower judiciary for a rapid increase in terrorist activities in the northernmost province of Pakistan.

According to the government, terrorist activities in the province have increased because courts "honourably" exonerate 98 per cent of the terrorists that face trial.

KP Information Minister Iftikhar Hussain said during a news conference that the provincial cabinet recently met in Peshawar to discuss the situation.

"Those terrorists freed by the courts become active again as they are given the opportunity to regroup," The Express Tribune quoted Hussain, as saying.

Hussain said that the cabinet was astonished that courts sentence only two per cent of the terrorists that stand trial. "Terrorists deserve to be hanged. They should be awarded the death sentence," he rhetorically added.

Giving details of cases decided by courts in the last two years, Hussain said that 200 cases were registered during 2009 but the number fell to 101 in 2010. However, according to him, a 75 per cent increase was recorded in the last three months.

It was due to the government's efforts that only 96 per cent of those accused for terrorism were freed by courts and four per cent were sentenced, he added.

"Those terrorists who were freed by the courts have been able to re-establish their networks," rued Hussain, adding, "The police and security forces have made massive sacrifices in arresting them but the terrorists have been given a licence to kill innocent people."

The Khyber-Pakhtunkwa cabinet also noted that those militants who went scot-free were apparently responsible for more attacks on police and security forces.

"Almost all of them took shelter in Mohmand Agency and Malakand to re-launch attacks on civilians and security forces," Hussain said. (ANI)

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