Friday, December 26, 2014

Repurcussions of School Massacre:Pakistan May Establish a Record in Hangings and Executions

A few days back 11 heavily armed terrorists entered the Army Public School at Peshawar and shot 132 students dead. I understand that 7 were killed , but perhaps 4 escaped. Most of the students at the Army Public School were wards of Army officers and other ranks. Perhaps this was the reason the terrorists belonging to the Pakistan branch of Al Qaeda targeted the school. They wanted to hurt the army most, because they perceived it as their main enemy, especially after the army mounted operations in the North West Frontier Province.
Perhaps the terror groups were not ready for the backlash after this massacre. The Pakistan government with pressure from the army did away with the moratorium on hangings in force since 2008. This is a significant decision as at one stroke more than 500 hard core terrorists on death row can now be executed. A start is made and 6 have been hanged two days back at the Faisalabad jail. The TTK the main terror group is taken by surprise and has threatened retaliation in case all terrorists are hanged. However the hangings are going to go on and as per last reports the High Court has cleared the decks for another 5 to be hanged.
I wonder whether Pakistan will really hang all the 500 plus on death row. The fact is Pakistan has a love- hate relationship with terrorist groups, some of who have official patronage. Will Pakistan uspset their own apple cart ? It is worth watching how the scenario unfolds in the weeks to come. Will Pakistan make a clean break with terror? Looks highly unlikely as even after the assissination of Benazir Bhutto, there was talk of finishing of all terrorist groups , but nothing happened.