Tenure of military courts

January 24, 2019

There is no doubt that still there is a dire need to extend the tenure of military courts and the PTI-led government has decided in principle to give another extension to the military courts for a period of two years and outline laws in this regard have already been prepared as confusion over the expiry time of these courts.

However, the federal government is facing a tough time pertaining to the issue, the government needs two third majority in the parliament for passing the bill but the 3rd major party in the parliament, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP)  which had earlier taken a hard stance on the issue and provide only conditional support to the previous PML-N government over the issue of military courts, is again opposed to the idea of giving an extension to the military courts to try civilians on terrorism charges, the situation was became more tough when 2nd largest party in the parliament Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) also announced that they will not support extension of military courts in the parliament, where Shahid Khaqan Abbasi told to media that his party did not support the extension of military courts which are due to expire in March. They stance that There is no need of such courts anymore in the country but the government believes that still there is a dire need so decided for the extension but the without the support of two big opposition parties it is believe that Government will have to face a stringent situation as the government for sure trying hard to give an extension.

As the stakeholders have begun giving their respective stances on the matter so the most significant stakeholder pertaining to the issue is the military, which also delineated its stance for the first time regarding the issue. Talking to a television channel on a evening show, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) chief Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor laid down a clear line and said that the courts were not the military’s demand, but the need of the nation, and that the decision to extend their tenure solely rests with parliament.

In the parliament, opposition parties have the stance that there is not more need of military courts in the country while government believes in the extension of tenure of military courts. We suggest that to avoid such situation in future government must bring judicial reforms and believes that this is the perfect opportunity to bring the civilian courts at that level where there is no need of military courts in the country.

Government must bring judicial reforms and this is the perfect opportunity to bring the civilian courts at the level where there is no need of military courts in the country.