Preparations complete to hang Dr Usman, Arshad Mehmood

RAWALPINDI: Preparations to execute Aqeel alias Dr Usman, a former soldier of the army’s medical corps, in relation to an attack on the headquarters of the Pakistan Army in 2009 in Rawalpindi are complete, a senior security source told Dawn, adding that the execution will be carried out in the next 24 hours. Additionally, Arshad Mehmood, convicted for an assassination attempt on former military ruler, General (retd.) Pervez Musharraf will also be hanged today.

Dr Usman’s meeting has been arranged with his brother, who will be taking his body after the execution at Faisalabad’s Central Prison, the source said.

The black warrant for Dr Usman was signed by Army Chief General Raheel Sharif late on Thursday night, two days after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif lifted the moratorium on capital punishment.

The premier lifted the moratorium a day after terrorists attacked Peshawar’s Army Public School, killing 141 people, most of them children.

Eleven soldiers had lost their lives in the Oct 10, 2009 attack when 10 heavily armed militants wearing suicide vests stormed the army’s General Headquarter (GHQ) holding off commandos for hours.

Dr Usman, who was caught injured during the Oct 10 raid on the army headquarters by militants, was sentenced to death in 2011 by a military court which had awarded prison terms to others in the GHQ attack case.

A retired soldier, Imran Siddiq, was awarded life imprisonment in the case at the time whereas three civilians — Khaliqur Rehman, Mohammad Usman and Wajid Mehmood — were given life terms while two others, Mohammad Adnan and Tahir Shafiq (both civilians), were given eight and seven years jail sentence respectively.

Apart from Dr Usman, who was caught during the attack, other serviceman and five civilians were found guilty of abetment.

Their trial by the military court, which was headed by a brigadier, had lasted over five months and had taken place at an undisclosed location.

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