ISLAMABAD – Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar said for lawmakers to agree on the establishment of military courts is not common but neither is the security situation of the country.
While addressing the National Assembly session, Nisar said, “We are in a state of war and on one side there is Pakistan Army who is fighting a war within its constitutional realm while on the other side there are militants who are ready to attack anyone and everyone.”
“Military courts have been established in other democratic countries as well,” the interior minister added.
“Due to the current war-like situation, military courts are the need of the hour,” Nisar said.
“In a functioning democracy, military courts are very unusual. These courts are being established because Pakistan is faced with an extraordinary situation,” the interior minister said, adding that after 9/11, military courts were also established in the US.
Recalling some of the most horrific incidents of terror that the country has faced such as the 2009 Meena Bazaar attack, killings of Hazaras in Quetta and even the attacks on army personnel, the interior minister said everyone had mobilised and united to end terrorism once and for all.
Earlier, members of the National Assembly arrived in the Parliament to vote on two government bills aimed to set up constitutionally protected military courts to try civilian terrorism suspects for up to two years.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has already reached the house where he appears to be in a relaxed mood.
One bill seeks to amend the constitution to bar challenges before the superior courts and fix a two-year limit for the new legislative measure, and the other to amend the Pakistan Army Act of 1952 to extend the scope of the proposed speedy trial military courts to try civilians charged with crimes of terrorism and extremism.
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