Zardari directs PPP leadership, opposition parties to oppose military courts’ extension | Pakistan Today

Zardari directs PPP leadership, opposition parties to oppose military courts’ extension

Former president and the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari on Thursday directed PPP leaders to oppose the extension of military courts.

According to sources, Zardari directed the party to take a hard stance against the military courts during the joint session of National Assembly on January 17.

Zardari instructed that the other opposition parties should also be consulted for election reforms. Sources, while talking to a private news channel, said that PPP co-chairman also held a long meeting with opposition leader Khursheed Shah.

He further directed that Dr Azra Afzal and Ayaz Soomro should submit their resignation upon returning to the country to Speaker National Assembly Ayaz Sadiq.

Azra Afzal is PPP lawmaker from NA-213 Nawabshah, whereas Ayaz Soomro is a PPP MNA from NA-204 Larkana.

Both PPP leaders had presented their resignations to the party after Zardari on December 27 said that he, along with Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, would contest elections and enter the current Parliament.

On January 6 this year, military courts expired. After hearing 274 cases and awarding 161 death sentences in a two-year-long term, special military courts set up to try terrorism suspects in Pakistan have ceased to function, the ISPR announced on Sunday.

A total of 12 convicted terrorists have been executed since January 2015, when the courts were established through a constitutional amendment allowing them to try civilians on terrorism charges.

The constitutional amendment came in response to an attack by Taliban terrorists on the Army Public School in Peshawar that killed 134 children. The amendment included an expiry clause to keep the measure temporary.

The federal government has said it is in consultations for a constitutional amendment to continue with the military courts for a period agreed by all political parties in Parliament.


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  1. S.R.H. Hashmi said:

    It is a fact that due to various deficiences, the civilian system for dispensation of justice has faialed in performing its allotted task. The main problems are the lack of arrangements for judges and witness protection, weak prosecution either deliberate or due to lack of proper training and education, political pressure, etc. We often hear judges castigating the Police for deliberate creating loopholes in the case which leave judges with no choice but to aquit the accused even in the circumstances when they are hundred percent sure of his crime. We have also heard of persons accused of committing heinous crimes being realeased on bail, and committing yet more crimes.
    It was becaue of these weaknesses that military courts were set up for two years during which they have done an excellent job. Being trained not to fear for life, once a military judge is convinced of the crime, here is just no escapabe for the accused proven guilty.
    Unfortunately, in this period of two years, no significant progress has been made in reforming the civilian system.
    In these circumsances, the most sensible thing would be to reinstate military courts and at the same time, start working seriously on reforming the whole process. And once the system has been brought to a satisfactory standard, abolish the military courts as they would no longer be required.
    Surely, abolishing military courts without a satisfactory alternative would simply be suicidal.

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