Islamabad: Pakistan Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa Monday approved death penalty for 10 “hardcore terrorists” including those who shot dead Amjad Sabri, one of the country’s renowned Sufi Qawwals.
In a statement, the military’s media wing said the hardcore terrorists, tried by special military courts, were involved in killing of 62 people and heinous crimes against the state including attack on security forces and Pearl Continental Hotel in Peshawar.
The terrorists were identified as Muhammad Ishaq, Muhammad Rafique, Muhammad Arish, Habibur Rehman, Muhammad Fayaz, Ismail Shah, Muhammad Fazal, Hazrat Ali, Muhammad Asim and Habibullah.
Another five militants were awarded imprisonment of different terms.
Ishaq and Asim were involved in the killing of Sabri and attacking the law enforcement agencies of Pakistan, which resulted in death of 17 officials, the statement said, adding that they were awarded death sentence.
Sabri, 45, was travelling in a car in Karachi’s congested Liquatabad 10 area when two motorcycle-borne gunmen shot him in the head in a targeted terror attack on June 22, 2016. He was rushed to a hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.
The Tehreek-e-Taliban Hakimullah Masood group had claimed responsibility for the attack on Sabri.
Sabri was the son of renowned Qawwal Ghulam Farid Sabri whose family is famous in the subcontinent for their contribution to this sufi art and mystic poetry.
Some of the most memorable and famous qawwalis of the Sabris were ‘Bhar Do Jholi Meri’, ‘Tajdar-i-Haram’ and ‘Mera Koi Nahin Hai Teray Siwa’.
His killing resulted in countrywide anguish and condemnation.
It was not known where the trial was held and when the original conviction was announced by the trial courts because military courts operate in secrecy.
The military courts were set up after the Taliban attack on an army school in Peshawar on December 16, 2014 that killed nearly 150 people, mostly students.