[JURST] A Pakistani army spokesperson said Thursday that 12 local Taliban militants have been arrested for their alleged involvement in a deadly school attack [JURIST report] last year. The militants were part of what is believed to be a 27-member cell, of which nine others have been killed. Pakistan credited the cooperation of Afghanistan, where six of the militants were arrested. The spokesperson said that Pakistan has been working closely with the Afghan government to search for Pakistani Taliban chief Mullah Fazlullah, who allegedly ordered the school attack and assigned commanders.
The Pakistani Taliban have a history of armed rebellion against the Pakistani government and have sought to overthrow the authorities and impose Sharia. As the main place of operations of the Taliban [JURIST news archive], Pakistan has been a focal point of global anti-terrorism efforts. In December Pakistan reinstated the death penalty [JURIST report] in terrorism-related cases. In July Pakistan passed [JURIST report] a strict anti-terrorism bill that allows police to use lethal force, search buildings without a warrant and detain suspects at secret facilities for up to 60 days without charge “on reasonable apprehension of commission of a scheduled offense.” Last year the country’s prime minister pledged [JURIST report] that the country’s anti-terrorism laws would be amended to more effectively combat modern threats.