This photo released in a statement by the Pakistani Taliban on Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014 shows the Taliban fighters who stormed a military-run school in Peshawar, Pakistan on Tuesday, killing more than 140 people, most of them children. In an email on Wednesday, the Pakistani Taliban spokesman Mohammad Khurasani claimed the attack was justified because the Pakistani army has allegedly long been killing innocent children and families of their fighters. Image Credit: AP

islamabad: Pakistan plans to execute around 500 militants in coming weeks, officials said on Monday, after the government lifted a moratorium on the death penalty in terror cases following a Taliban school massacre.

Six militants have been hanged since Friday amid rising public anger over Tuesday’s slaughter in the northwestern city of Peshawar, which left 149 people dead including 135 children.

After the deadliest terror attack in Pakistani history, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif ended the six-year moratorium on the death penalty, reinstating it for terrorism-related cases.

“The Interior Ministry has finalised 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,” a senior government official told AFP.
A second official confirmed the information.

Of the six hanged so far, five were involved in a failed attempt to assassinate then military ruler Pervez Musharraf in 2003, while one was involved in a 2009 attack on army headquarters.

In Karachi, the Sindh High Court suspended the death warrants of two terror convicts just a day before they were due to go to the gallows.

"The Sindh High Court suspended the death warrants of two terrorists today,” advocate general Mustafa Mehsar told AFP.