But does NAP mean only military courts?
During the seven months of its tenure, the PTI has kept mum over the implementation of NAP. This led the opposition to question the mysterious silence. While the claim might be no more than political license, PPP Chairman accused three PTI ministers of having links with banned outfits and maintained that in their presence it was not possible to eradicate terrorism. The PTI has meanwhile shown keenness to provide extension to military courts which had been the only controversial provision in the 20-point NAP. The measure was strongly opposed by some of the opposition parties including the PPP and a sunset clause had to be included to assure them that this was meant to be a temporary arrangement though as it turned out later, it was not. Meanwhile a three member SC bench had also expressed strong reservations about the summary trial courts remarking that Judiciary is not supposed to announce punishments alone; it is meant to serve justice.
There is still a need to fully implement the NAP. While military operations have led to a remarkable reduction in the incidence of terrorism, extremism continues to flourish providing a breeding ground for new terrorist groups. The madrassa reform has yet to be initiated seriously, administrative and development reforms in FATA are still to be widened, the space enjoyed by extremist networks in Punjab is yet to be fully retrieved. Financial resources available to terrorist networks are being cut under pressure from FATF but much more remains be done. There is therefore a need to take the issue of the implementation of the entire NAP to Parliament.
Delay in deciding the cases that is presented as the major argument in support of military courts has been again questioned by the top judicial forum. According to CJ Asif Khosa there are only some 3,000 judges and magistrates available to a population of over 200m. What is more a staggering 25pc of positions in the judiciary are lying vacant. Instead of going for a parallel judicial system which is not sustainable over time, a permanent solution within the present judicial system is to sufficiently increase the number of judges.