The government of Pakistan plans to execute around 500 terror convicts in coming weeks in response to last week's killing of 149 people, including 133 children, at a military-run Army Public School in the northwestern city of Peshawar by the local branch of the Taliban.
Days after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's announcement about the lifting of the six-year moratorium on the death penalty for terrorism-related cases, Pakistan's interior ministry appears to be taking a tough stand against terrorism, even as at least six militants have been hanged since Friday.
"Interior ministry has finalized the cases of 500 convicts who have exhausted all the appeals, their mercy petitions have been turned down by the president and their executions will take place in coming weeks," Agence France Presse quoted a senior anonymous government official as saying Monday. more >>
The Pakistani army killed close to 77 Taliban members in the northwestern tribal regions of the country, days after militants stormed an army school earlier this week in Peshawar and killed 148 people, most of them children.
The offensive was confirmed by Pakistani military chief Gen. Raheel Sharif, who revealed that on Thursday, airstrikes killed 17 militants targets in the Khyber tribal region, while ground troops killed 10 fighters. Another 32 militants died on Friday in an ambush in Tirah valley near the Afghan border, according to The Associated Press.
The Taliban and the Pakistan army have fought each other in the Khyber region in recent months, with militants using the area as a hiding spot, where it is difficult to track them down. more >>
The family of two Pakistani Christian teenagers, who were gang-raped at gunpoint in the Punjab Province by four Muslim men, is saying that they are being threatened by influential people in their village and warned not to press charges against the attackers.
The father of the two victims, Ilyas Masih, told police that his daughters, 16-year-old Sehrish and 14-year-old Farzana, went outside of their house in the village of Jaranwala during the middle of the night on Dec. 3 to go to the bathroom, since there are no bathrooms inside the house. But when the girls went outside, they did not return. The family began to frantically worry and filed a missing person's complaint with the local police, in which a search was launched to find them.
The two teens were found the next afternoon laying unconscious along the side of the road several miles away from their home village. The girls were taken to a hospital and later told police that a well-known local landlord and three other men had taken them at gunpoint, took them away and raped them. more >>
Atheist professor and author Richard Dawkins has said that it's faith in God that makes organized groups capable of great acts of evil, such as the Pakistan school massacre earlier this week where the Taliban killed 132 children and nine staff members.
Dawkins posted a wide variety of tweets in response to the slaughter, blaming both Islam and also religion as a whole.
Pakistan's Supreme Court has ordered the arrest of two Muslim clerics for inciting a violent mob of hundreds of Muslims to brutally beat, torture, burn and murder a married Christian couple in the Punjab Province in early November.
The court also ordered disciplinary action to be levied against five police officials, who were present during the time of the beatings but took no action to protect the two individuals. Additionally, the court ordered a complete investigation into the incident and also ordered compensation payments to be made to the family of the victimized couple.
After being accused of burning pages from the Koran, Shamah Masih, who was a 24-year-old mother of four and four months pregnant at the time, and her husband, Shahzad Masih, were surrounded by an enraged mob, who gathered around the brick kiln in the village of Kot Rodha Kishan where the couple was located. more >>
The Pakistani branch of the Taliban has attempted to justify its attack on a school on Tuesday in the city of Peshawar that left 132 children and nine staff members dead, calling it revenge for the army's offensive against the group. The attack has been condemned by world leaders, including the government of Iran as well as by the Afghan branch of the Taliban.
BBC News reported that Pakistani Taliban (TTP) leader Mullah Fazlullah is believed to be currently hiding in Afghanistan, even as the group claimed sole responsibility for the attack and said it did not coordinate with the Afghanistan branch.
A TTP spokesman apparently said that the gunmen, all seven of whom were killed by the Pakistani army, had targeted older pupils rather than "small children." The Islamic militants attempted to justify the attack by characterizing it as revenge for the Pakistan army's numerous operations against them, noting that their families had also suffered heavy losses. more >>