Pakistan leaders back military courts

  • Imtiaz Ahmad, Hindustan Times, Islamabad
  • Updated: Jan 02, 2015 23:29 IST

A national plan of action is being finalised in Pakistan after all major political parties give the go-ahead for military courts to try terrorism cases. The move to establish military courts came after army chief General Raheel Sharif told an all-parties conference on Friday that such summary courts “were not the demand of the military but the need of the hour.”

Major political parties including the Pakistan Peoples Party have reservations over the court which will give sweeping powers to military judges in meting out punishment to civilians.

General Sharif defended the setting up of the courts on grounds that the civil judiciary had failed to live up to expectations because they felt threatened by militants.

He assured the courts would not stay for longer than the time frame they were needed. It is proposed that the military courts would stay in place for at least two years.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan has, however, called the move to be against the spirit of the constitution.

“The time has come for a final decision to be made,” PM Nawaz Sharif said, adding “I am happy that the political leadership is standing together to work towards eliminating terrorism.”

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