Pakistan’s government has fast-tracked warrants of execution for convicted terrorists, moving swiftly on its promise to crack down on militants after a Taliban massacre of 132 schoolchildren in the northern city of Peshawar.

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had lifted a six-year moratorium on capital punishment on Wednesday, vowing to eliminate terrorists in Pakistan irrespective of whether they targeted it or neighbouring Afghanistan or India.

On Mr Sharif’s orders on Thursday, the country’s ceremonial president Mamnoon Hussain rejected 17 mercy petitions that convicted terrorists on death row had filed earlier. The army chief of staff, General Raheel Sharif also signed six so-called “black warrants” for the execution of soldiers convicted of terrorism offences by military courts.

Officials said those 23 terrorists would be executed within days, and they’re likely to be followed by dozens more hangings at prisons around the country.

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