In a significant development, a special Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) in Lahore, Pakistan has sentenced three convicts in the Johar Town blast case to death nine times each. The court has also ordered the confiscation of their properties. The ATC Administrator Judge Abhar Gul Khan conducted the hearing via video link amid security concerns.
The three convicts who have been sentenced to death are Samiul Haq, Aziz Akbar, and Naveed Akhtar. A case had been registered against them with the Johar Town Police Station in Lahore. The Counter-Terrorism Department Inspector Khalid Akbar submitted the challan against the convicts.
In December 2021, Pakistan's Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah had said that the possible target of the Johar Town vehicle-borne improvised explosive device blast in June 2021 was Lashkar-e-Tayyaba Chief Hafiz Saeed. The Minister had also claimed that the mastermind of the blast was an agent of Indian spy agency RAW.
The Johar Town blast occurred on June 23, 2021, when a vehicle loaded with explosives could not get through Hafiz Saeed's residence due to tight security and was left parked at a nearby location. The sentencing of the three convicts is seen as a major step towards bringing the perpetrators of the heinous crime to justice.