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Sunday, January 11, 2015

Military Courts in Pakistan:The Army Calls the Shots

The recent attack on the Army Public School that left 132 children dead is a traumatic event especially for Pakistan Army Personnel, as most of the kids were their wards.  The civilian government of Nawaz Sharrif , which had made an election promise of talking to the extremists was suddenly in a bind. Suddenly it's hold became more tenuous as the Army chief became assertive.

General Rahil not only escalated the conflict against the Islamic extremists, but also insisted on a speedy trial and punishment for all offenders. In fact Nawaz Sharif had to accept an amendment to the constitution to facilitate a quick trial by a military court.

Setting up of military courts for terrorists is a retrograde step. There was no need for these courts, as existing provisions of Pakistan Penal code are sufficient to try terrorists. However the army is seething for revenge and as it is in drivers seat the military courts have been constituted.One wonders how setting up of military courts will curb extremists activity.

In a way the setting up of the military courts is an abdication of the responsibility of the civilian government  of Nawaz Sharif. Information is received that the first trials have commenced under military law and 6 men have been sentenced to be hanged. This is not good news and the judicial system in Pakistan is circumvented. What has the CJI of the Pakistan Supreme Court to say about it/ Can he not strike down the law as unconstitutional ? I wish some of my Pakistan friends would response on this