UN chief Ban Ki-moon urges Pakistan to rescind death penalty
Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif announces setting up of special army courts to try terror suspects Reuters

Pakistan is setting up special military courts to try terror suspects in the aftermath of the Peshawar school carnage.

In a televised address, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said the days of the militants are numbered as the offensive against them intensifies.

"The Peshawar atrocity has changed Pakistan; we need to eradicate the mindset of terrorism to defeat extremism and sectarianism. This horrendous attack has shaken the nation...the terrorists struck the future of this country when they murdered those children. A strong action is needed to root out the menace of extremism from society," said Sharif.

He said all political parties have agreed to the setting up of special courts manned by army personnel to deal with terror suspects. The courts will be in operation for two years.

As part of the crackdown, other measures including severe restrictions on funding for extremist organisations and a ban on hate speeches have also been declared.

Opposition leader Syed Khursheed Shah told AFP: "Only terrorists would be tried in these courts and these will not be used for political objectives. The aim of setting up military courts is to ensure the speedy trial of terrorists. There are so many loopholes in our judicial system and it has failed to deliver."

The clampdown comes close on the heels of the execution of several terrorists after the school siege orchestrated by Taliban militants which claimed more than 140 lives, mostly schoolchildren.