Peshawar court orders Ehsanullah Ehsan to remain in custody

Pakistan Forward

PESHAWAR -- The Peshawar High Court (PHC) Wednesday (April 25) ordered the continued imprisonment of surrendered former Jamatul Ahrar leader and Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan, Dawn reported.

Ehsan, also known by his real name Liaquat Ali, has been in custody since he surrendered to authorities last year.

The court reviewed a petition submitted by the father of one of the victims of the December 2014 terrorist massacre at the Army Public School (APS) in Peshawar, which left about 150 people, mostly children, dead. Ehsan claimed responsibility for the attack in his role as TTP spokesman.

The petitioner expressed concern that authorities might seek to grant clemency to Ehsan and sought to ensure that he would not be pardoned.

If Ehsan took responsibility for the APS attack, "the parents of the victims -- and not the state -- hold the right to pardon him", ruled a two-judge bench.

The government does not plan to release Ehsan before trial, said Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Deputy Attorney General Musaratullah Khan during the hearing.

A ruling last December barred the government from releasing Ehsan.

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