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January 1, 2015

Establishment of military courts challenged


January 1, 2015

The establishment of the proposed military courts was challenged in the Supreme Court on Wednesday by a non-government organisation.
Petitioner Altaf Shakoor, president of PASBAN, stated in his application that after the Peshawar killings the government’s decision to set up military courts when anti-terrorism courts were also working for the same purpose.
He said the only reason cited by the government for setting up military courts was the “increase in terrorist activities” though police and other law-enforcement agencies had failed to protect the lives of citizens and control the law and order situation.
The petitioner stated that the personnel of police and other law-enforcement agencies were not trained like the armed forces in dealing with terrorists. He said it was necessary to train law-enforcement personnel effectively so that they act against criminal elements send them to courts for punishment.
He said the government instead of removing deficiencies in the police and law-enforcement agencies had resorted to inducting military courts supervised by army personnel and such action was tantamount to running a parallel judicial system in the country which was not only a violation of the constitution but was also lethal for the democratic system.
He said the role of law-enforcement agencies in arresting culprits involved in terrorism used to criticise unfair treatment and false implication of citizens due to political influence, adding that in case military courts depended upon investigation of the police the very purpose of right of fair trial guaranteed under the constitution would be seriously affected.
The military courts had been declared illegal by the Supreme Court and formation of these courts would be a violation of the court’s decision, he contended.
He requested the court to bar the government from making amendments in the constitution by declaring formation of military courts illegal.

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