Two among Seven Hanged in PIA Hijacking Case
HYDERABAD: Two prisoners convicted of hijacking a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight in May 1998 among seven others were executed Thursday morning.
Mercy pleas of the two condemned prisoners, Shahsawar Baloch and Sabir Baloch, were rejected by the president after almost 15 years after they had been filed in September 2000.
An Anti-Terrorism Court in Hyderabad issued black warrants on May 21 for the two convicts in Hyderabad Jail, along with a third convict in the same case, Shabbir Baloch, who is in a Karachi jail.
The convicts had initially been sentenced in August 1998. Their subsequent appeals in the Sindh High Court and the Supreme Court were dismissed in August 1999 and August 2000, respectively.
The men had been convicted of hijacking a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) Fokker F27 plane PK-554, carrying 33 passengers and five crew members from Gwadar to Karachi.
The hijackers wanted to land the plane in the Indian city of Bhuj but the pilot Uzair Khan landed at Hyderabad Airport. Hours after the plane landed the security forces succeeded in overpowering the hijackers, without any casualties.
The men had demanded that Balochistan should not be used for the May 1998 nuclear test in Chaghai.
Along with the two hijackers, five other murder convicts were hanged in different parts of the country.
A murder convict, Mehmood Ali was hanged in Karachi Central Jail for murdering a child in Quaidabad, back in 2003. Haripur Central Jail also saw its first execution when convict Malik Khurram was hanged for killing his best friend six years ago.
Further, in District Jail Attock, a man identified as Muhammad Asfeer was hanged for killing his friend, Rizwan Shahid over a personal dispute. Asfeer was sentenced to death in 2002 by a court.
A moratorium on the death penalty had been in force since 2008, but executions were restarted in December after Taliban militants gunned down 154 people, most of them children, at the Army Public School in Peshawar.
The moratorium was initially lifted only for those convicted of terrorism offences, but in March was extended to cover all capital offences. Since then, over a 100 people have been executed all over Pakistan.
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