Pakistan to hold ‘butcher of Swat’ Muslim Khan

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File photo of Muslim Khan, 2008

Picture copyright
AFP

Picture caption

Muslim Khan was the face of the Swat Taliban for a lot of months

A navy court docket in Pakistan has sentenced a prime Pakistani Taliban chief from the Swat area to loss of life.

Muslim Khan, a former spokesman for the militants, was convicted of killing 31 individuals, together with civilians and safety personnel, the navy mentioned.

He’s amongst eight “terrorists” whose loss of life penalty was confirmed by military chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa.

The navy courts have been arrange within the aftermath of the 2014 Peshawar college bloodbath. Their time period expires subsequent week.

Others whose convictions have been confirmed by the military chief on Wednesday embrace 4 gunmen sentenced for involvement in a 2015 bus massacre of Ismaili Shias in Karachi, and the assassination of social activist Sabeen Mahmud, additionally in Karachi the identical 12 months.

Why ‘butcher of Swat’?

Muslim Khan, 62, began out as a scholar activist of a left-wing secular occasion within the 1960s, however underwent an ideological transformation within the early 1990s when a pre-Taliban Islamist motion briefly emerged in his native Swat area.

In 2007, he turned the chief spokesman of the Swat Taliban, and was the motion’s public face throughout its stranglehold over the area which continued till the winter of 2009.

His forceful defence of the Taliban’s coverage of killings, beheadings and the destruction of faculties in Swat earned him and Swat Taliban chief Mullah Fazlullah the title of “butchers of Swat”.

The navy’s assertion described him as “a spokesman of a proscribed organisation [who] was concerned in killing harmless civilians, attacking armed forces and legislation enforcement businesses of Pakistan”.

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Muslim Khan, pictured in 2009 after his arrest

These assaults resulted within the loss of life of 31 individuals and accidents to 69 others, the assertion mentioned, including that he was concerned in “slaughtering” 4 troopers.

“He was additionally concerned in kidnapping two Chinese language engineers and an area civilian for ransom. The convict admitted his offences earlier than the Justice of the Peace and the trial court docket. He was awarded the loss of life sentence.”

A former BBC Urdu correspondent, Abdul Hai Kakar, who met him in September 2009, reported that he spoke a number of languages, together with Urdu, English, Arabic and Persian, along with his mom tongue Pashto.

He had lived in or travelled throughout greater than a dozen nations within the Center East, Europe, the US and the Far East.

He has been in custody since his arrest in 2009 throughout the navy operation that drove the Taliban out of Swat.

Was the trial truthful?

The navy court docket trials are held in secret, and prisoners on trial are held in internment centres run by the navy, away from the mainstream jail inhabitants.

Scores of suspects have been convicted by the navy courts since they have been arrange in January 2015 – acquiring correct info is troublesome as a result of secrecy makes it nearly unattainable to scrutinise the method.

Dawn newspaper said greater than 270 circumstances had been despatched to the navy courts prior to now two years. They gave loss of life sentences to 161 individuals, whereas 116 got jail phrases, principally life sentences.

A report by the Geneva-based International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) in June had a decrease determine, saying the navy courts had convicted greater than 100 individuals, “presumably together with youngsters”.

Picture copyright
Reuters

Picture caption

The assault on the Military Public College in Peshawar was the deadliest militant assault in Pakistan’s historical past

Up to now solely 12 suspects have been executed by the navy courts.

Others have gone to the courts to problem the equity of the trials, however judges have didn’t intervene.

The ICJ has accused the Pakistani authorities of failing to make public key details about the trials, with comparable objections raised by the Human Rights Fee of Pakistan (HRCP) and different teams.

The BBC requested the Inside Ministry for info on circumstances tried by the navy courts however has not but obtained a response.

What occurs to navy courts now?

The convictions made public on Wednesday are believed to be the final by navy courts earlier than their authorized time period expires in January 2017.

It’s not clear if their time period might be prolonged.

Parts inside the navy need the time period of the navy courts prolonged, believing the federal government is lower than coping with terrorism-related offences.

However rights teams and a few political circles say legislation and order has improved and the justification for navy courts now not exists.