The APS Shuhada Forum on Tuesday filed a writ petition in the Peshawar High Court (PHC) seeking trial and sentencing of Ehsanullah Ehsan, former spokesperson of the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), for his involvement in the 2014 terrorist attack on Peshawar’s Army Public School (APS) which left 144 students and staff dead.
Shuhada Forum comprises family members of those killed in the bloodshed at the school. Its president, Fazal Khan, who is a lawyer and the main petitioner, accused Ehsan for carrying out the deadly attack, demanding the court to stop the government from granting clemency to the terrorist.
Khan named various parties as respondents in the writ, such as Government of Pakistan, Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Human Rights, Ministry of Law and Justice. Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, director general of Inter-Services Intelligence and General Headquarters of Pakistan Army.
"The very next day of the APS attack, Ehsanullah Ehsan claimed the responsibility of the brutal attack and warned to carry more attacks in future," the petition read, adding, "The surrender or arrest of the main accused and mastermind of the APS attack gives some hope that the men involved in the attack would be brought in to justice."
"But unfortunately, to the disappointment, the said Ehsanullah Ehsan is far from the aisles of justice," Khan said in the petition, saying the former TTP spokesperson is "being portrayed as an unaware, innocent and a brainwashed man" who had unknowingly planned the "slaughter in the APS attack and many other terror activities".
The forum's president in the writ petition also asked the PHC to direct the government to try Ehsan in a military court for "speedy justice".
The petitioner further added that under the Qisas (retribution) and Diyat (blood money) law, only the victim's heirs have the right to forgive the accused.
Therefore, the state has no legal authority to "forgive" Ehsan, the petition claimed.