Rawalpindi, Dec 19: Authorities were making final preparations on Friday to soon execute two feared terrorists convicted for attacks at army headquarters and former army chief Pervez Musharraf, days after Pakistan lifted the moratorium on the death sentences.
The two are among 17 terrorists who would be executed in the first phase after the end of self-imposed moratorium by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in the wake of the Peshawar school massacre that left 148 people dead, mostly students.
Aqeel alias Dr Usman was injured and captured alive during attack at Rawalpindi headquarters in 2009 and sentenced to death, while Arshad Mehmood was convicted for an assassination attempt on Gen (retd.) Pervez Musharraf.
A senior official said that Aqeel's family met him for the last time in Faisalabad jail where he would be hanged anytime as there is no legal hurdle in his execution. Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif last night signed death warrants of six persons involved in terrorism against armed forces.
Mehmood was among the five persons sentenced to death for attack on Musharraf in 2003 who survived but 15 people were killed. In the first phase, some 17 terrorists would be hanged while 45 in the second phase before initiating the last phase, completing the execution of remaining over 8,000 death row prisoners, officials said. Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has said the execution of death row prisoners will begin in three to four days.
Some 5,815 death row prisoners are languishing in Punjab jails. Of them some 100 are terrorists. They are activists of banned militant organisations who were awarded death sentence under murder and terrorism charges by anti-terrorism courts.
They had filed mercy petitions in the office of the President of Pakistan after the Supreme Court rejected their appeals.