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Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif addressing the meeting of parliamentary leaders held at the Prime Minister House. — Courtesy: Prime Minister's Office Facebook page
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif addressing the meeting of parliamentary leaders held at the Prime Minister House. — Courtesy: Prime Minister's Office Facebook page

ISLAMABAD: Political parties on late Wednesday reached a consensus over the issue of setting up military courts for tackling terrorism cases in the country.

The agreement was reached during a meeting of parliamentary leaders at the Prime Minister House in Islamabad.

The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), which earlier expressed reservations, agreed on the setting up of military tribunals.

The Awami National Party (ANP), Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam – Fazl (JUI-F) have also reportedly supported the move.

Read also: Martial law better than military courts in Pakistan: Altaf

“This is historic occasion for our nation,” Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said at the concluding session.

"Our resolve to fight terror is a strong message for those who want to destroy Pakistan. Time for half baked decisions is over," the PM said.

"We have to act fast and whatever is agreed we have to implement it immediately...this agreement is a defining moment for Pakistan and we will eliminate terrorists from this country, he said.

Earlier on, a number of political parties voiced their support for the idea of establishing military courts in the country.

The Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Muslim League – Quaid (PMLQ) extended support for the setting up of military courts for terrorism trials.

During today's meeting at PM House held in order to chalk out a comprehensive anti-terrorism strategy, PTI Chairman Imran Khan announced his support for the formation of special military courts to hear terrorism cases.

Speaking at the meeting, Imran said there should be a specific time frame for these courts. He also stated that PTI would support all steps being taken for counter terrorism.

Earlier, some PPP leaders at the meeting reportedly said that military courts should be set up for a specific period of time.

However, senior PPP leader Aitzaz Ahsan said: "We are for speedy punishment of terrorists and if the draft legislation for military courts is shared with us, we can work out a way within a constitutional and legal framework."

"We will give you our official stance after reading the relevant document on the establishing of military courts,” he said.

PML-Q also extended its support for the establishment of military courts along with Aftab Sherpao of the Qaumi Watan Party.

"I fully support this move, the US also has done the same in the past," Senator Mushahid Hussain told the meeting at PM House.

Balochistan National Party’s Hasil Bizenjo also supported the idea of establishment of military courts and said: "We have to fight the mind set, and stopping now will lead to perpetual failure. If we lose, the next rulers will be the Taliban."

Ijazul Haq, who heads the Pakistan Muslim League – Zia (PML-Z) said military courts were the solution to terrorism.

The ANP had earlier said that they sought time on the matter.

"We need a few days to consult on these military courts. We want to see the legislation first," ANP’s Ghulam Bilour said, adding that irrespective of his party’s view on the establishment of military courts, the state must pull together all its resources “to fight the terrorists”.

Earlier, MQM, JUI-F and Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) also raised objection to the idea of military courts.


Comments (94) Closed



Iqbal Bhai Dec 24, 2014 04:59pm

"Meanwhile, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), the Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) and the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam – Fazl (JUI-F) have raised objection to the idea of military courts."......

for very obvious reason.

Noor Dec 24, 2014 05:01pm

now divide is clear

Dr. Abdul Manan Dec 24, 2014 05:06pm

This is intellectual discussion. I support my prime minister. I believe whatever he will conclude, will be in Pakistan's favor.

Jack n Jill Dec 24, 2014 05:19pm

Extraordinary circumstances demand extraordinary measures. Come on dissenting political parties, show the nation that you are capable of taking those measures.

Asif kamil Dec 24, 2014 05:38pm

Naturally they won't agree.

umer salahuddin Dec 24, 2014 05:42pm

Thru civil courts trial for the terrorists is a very slow spanned for years. Time is now of quick trial and punishment. This is not time to wait a decision for many years and every one knows how our courts are working. Military courts is need of time till terrorism is eliminated completely.

tinker bell Dec 24, 2014 05:44pm

MQM, JUI-F and JI all have their reasons and opposition from them is no surprise. However this time its not about the politicians....this time its about the common citizens of Pakistan who have suffered and paid with their lives.

Ali Dec 24, 2014 05:44pm

If they agreed then they will not have place to hide that's why they are scared and not supporting.

Zafar Ahmed Dec 24, 2014 05:45pm

We need to create speedy courts with in our judiciary system and not the military courts.

muhammad Dec 24, 2014 05:45pm

They will remain divided and terrorists are united in destroying Pakistan and killing innocent Pakistanis

Ghani K Dec 24, 2014 05:48pm

"Ijazul Haq, who heads the Pakistan Muslim League – Zia (PML-Z) " - Is not it ironical that one man party NA member sits in this conference whose father late Gen Zia ul Haq was godfather of talibans, If he can sit in this meeting, then why Sheikh Rashid has been kept out. Sheikh Rashid too is one man party NA member of the parliament

Sunil Dec 24, 2014 05:54pm

The military has many missions, rescue operations, medical assistance in impoverished areas, food and humanitarian relief, and the primary mission of course is to defend the nation. Terrorists mission is terror, anarchy, destruction, therefore they do not come under military provisions, so why military court has to deal.

Fareed (usa) Dec 24, 2014 05:57pm

Politics makes strange bedfellows . MQM aligning with mullahs of JI & JUI-F. But then MQM never had any national agenda except playing political , ethnic, linguistic cards. Join a government today, out of the government next day. I am surprised they have not joined PML (N) government as yet.

Abbas Dec 24, 2014 06:13pm

Plz follow majority is authority and save the country from thugs.

usman Dec 24, 2014 06:18pm

Why object when you know it's for the good remember JI munawar hassan kital ko amm kurna hoga. Now kital would be normal for the bad guys

Rashid Dec 24, 2014 06:27pm

parties/people with questionable attitudes, armed thugs, extremist views, extortion wings will of course object.. so now they don't trust the military too? we know why they dont...

Jawad Dec 24, 2014 06:30pm

Army courts need of the hour.

Arshad Manda Dec 24, 2014 06:36pm

Military Courts must be set in spite of opposition of few parties. Those should not be consulted either

anees zaidvi Dec 24, 2014 06:45pm

Will those who are opposing it come up with a better alternative to tackle the problem?

Key Points Dec 24, 2014 06:50pm

Setting up military courts for a limited duration of 12 months, with majority votes in national assembly is a logical solution. There are too many lingering cases of terrorists and many pakistani citizen are getting killed every day. Military courts are likely to do speedy trials for terrorists, sending a clear mesage to criminals that 'crime does not pay'. It would be nice if all criminals, including terrorists, target killers and bhatta khores are brought to military court for speedy justice.

Key Points Dec 24, 2014 06:56pm

@Iqbal Bhai Their objections can be addressed by majority vote in national assembly, approving military courts for limited period of 12 months to clear up all lingering cases (and any new ones), with a speedy trial of all terrorists. Otherwise continued terroristm & violence would keep killing pakistanis & keep suffocation pakistan's economy & progress.

Erik Dec 24, 2014 07:21pm

Military courts is the need of the hour

Justice Dec 24, 2014 07:24pm

Does the Finance minister Dar ever deal with his own departmental issues or is he 'jack of all trades but master of none'?

Karachite Dec 24, 2014 07:34pm

Deisal seems member of PMLN..LOL!

Riaz Dec 24, 2014 07:36pm

Why object to Military Courts. These are essential to fight terrorism at this time; that is if we really want to do so on merit without trying to save certain elements involved in such activities. While we have so much faith in our Armed Forces, why oppose Military Courts? PM; please go ahead with the Military Courts to get rid of this evil and don't listen to the sympathizers of terrorists; religious or political. We can expect speedy justice for terrorists through Military Courts only.

DEAR PAKISTANIS; PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE SUPPORT MILITARY COURTS for better future of the nation. TERRORISTS CAUGHT RED HANDED MAY, HOWEVER, BE HANGED PUBLICLY THE NEXT DAY AFTER SUMMARY TRIAL. LEGISLATION MAY BE MADE ACCORDINGLY.This will help in conveying seriousness of our resolve to fight this menace. UNITE AGAINST THIS MENACE WITHOUT PERSONAL INTERESTS OR SCORING POINTS PLEASE.

A Khokar Dec 24, 2014 07:41pm

Where as MQM is fearful of the swift trial and the punishments of their party members by Military courts for their crimes; JI, JUI-F the known TTP Van guard sitting in government lobbies fear their more exposure and inability to safeguard...TTP terrorist interests or manipulation during military trial.

But its high time that Civil society must come forward to raise their voices and 'Name and Shame' all the culprits.

Ambreen Dec 24, 2014 07:45pm

@Iqbal Bhai Agree with it .

Altaf, England Dec 24, 2014 07:46pm

This was inevitable! Pakistan is in the terrible state it's in because of fractious politics practised by self-serving egomaniacs. May Allah give some sense to these incompetent & useless so-called leaders who have wrecked Pakistan.

baakhlaq Dec 24, 2014 07:48pm

If I have not done anything wrong,why should I fear the military courts? Skeletons in their cupboards frighten them.

Nizamuddin Ahmad Aali Dec 24, 2014 08:01pm

Very bad idea. Politicians are doing to pass the buck to army. They are protecting their children from being killed and don't have courage and are spineless. The courts should be run by civilians and civilians only. Military do not have means and know how to run courts. Military knows to shoot guns and drive tanks only, like they will not delegate fighting in combat to civilians, plus they had a very bad attitude during Ayub and Zia dictatorship. Today the people are the same: CASE AND POINT: Military will take us back to SEMI-DICTATORSHIP.

Ganga Din Dec 24, 2014 08:13pm

Military courts for the military. That's it. Improve the civilian system.

John Dec 24, 2014 08:14pm

Well MQM rejects Guantanamobay style justice where innocent people can face captivity for days, months and already there are missing persons who have yet to be released or convicted. MQM is for the protection of all people.

Kanwarch Dec 24, 2014 08:23pm

This is the responsibility of PM to make decisions and not wait for everybody to agree. This is what we called democracy where people vote a party to power and the government of the day has to take difficult decisions and take responsibility. It seems to me that government wants to enjoy all the benefits of being in power but does not want to take any responsibility

Nazir Ahmed Dec 24, 2014 08:23pm

No excuse acceptable. Military courts with full powers be establish throughout the country to eliminate terrorists and money extortionists.

Usman Khan Dec 24, 2014 08:31pm

I agree that military courts are a horrible solution but at least they dispense of the cases without getting death threats. The civilian courts are just not ready to deal with death threats. The Islamabad attack on a presiding judge shut that door for ever.

M.Saeed Dec 24, 2014 08:32pm

Military Courts are the only answer to work against threats. Iron hand can only deal with terror.

AXH Dec 24, 2014 08:54pm

"Ijazul Haq, who heads the Pakistan Muslim League – Zia (PML-Z) said military courts were the solution to terrorism."

First, what we are seeing today in Pakistan is a direct effect of Zia's policies. Ijazul Haq should not have been invited to this meeting.

Secondly, the civilian justice system is sluggish with a lot of loopholes in it which helps in undue prolonging of trials. Judges are afraid to try terrorists because they fear for their own lives as well as their families'. The witnesses are afraid of coming forward and the lawyers are afraid of representing the government for the same reason, that is, they do not want to risk their lives. In these circumstances, it is quite clear that the only way terrorists can be tried effectively is through the military courts.

Farhan Dec 24, 2014 09:30pm

They can only be united for self interest rather than national interest

Masood Khan Dec 24, 2014 10:14pm

They will always remain divided. They only come together when there is corruption involved.

Dallas Dec 24, 2014 10:35pm

We Support IK decision of supporting Military Court.

Fakhir Dec 24, 2014 10:37pm

The next is building concensus on reforms of madaris. There thorough audit, there links with militants. The sylabus review by religious authorities in consultation with educationist and other learned people. Besides Formal education should also be given to them. There should be total ban on hate speech and printed matter as well as coverage of hate leaders. Once it is established that some one is against Pakistan, his NIC should be cancelled.

Zafar Dec 24, 2014 10:45pm

This is another slap in the face of Pakistan's judiciary as they have once again failed Pakistan and its people!

Muhib Dec 24, 2014 10:47pm

Wrong move that will soon backfire...

Muhib Dec 24, 2014 10:49pm

@Sunil

they have set military courts because they have no guts and brains...

Rauf Dec 24, 2014 10:49pm

This is the worst decision an elected civilian government will ever take. Yes, it takes time to decide in the civilian courts because due process of law is everyone's right. Due process also makes sure that innocents are punished. Pakistanis have to think about the role of the army and the civilian government. If army is suppose to take care of everything, including the justice system then why elections are held, why parliament is formed, why judges are appointed, why billions are wasted on civilian law and order machinery. Its time to show the leadership, not to pass the buck.

nadeem Dec 24, 2014 10:51pm

@Karachite Unity must prevail; plz do show it.

yousapzai Dec 24, 2014 11:05pm

What about those Anti-terrorism courts????

FOMI Dec 24, 2014 11:17pm

At least, we are united at some point.

Erik Dec 24, 2014 11:20pm

Military courts is the only solution.

Khalid Mahmood Khan Dec 24, 2014 11:28pm

that was the last but the only solution.The existing judicial system has miserably fail;ed to provide relief to the Nation.

Farhan Dec 24, 2014 11:36pm

National interest should come first, and the national interest at this hour is to save the Pakistan and it's citizens from all kind of threats/enemies whether it's international or internal. Parties interest shouldn't over come national interest.

Jack n Jill Dec 24, 2014 11:38pm

Shukar hai--- now get ready to act on it.

Key Points Dec 24, 2014 11:48pm

Congratulations to all Pakistanis that their political leaders have reached a consensus on this critical issue. It is good to see that all leaders can sit together and work together to protect life & property of Pakistani citizens. Lets also pray for those children & their teachers and others at Army school who sacrified their life due to terror attack by terrorists. May almighty give strength to political leaders, its citizens ans its armed forces. Long live Pakistan (Ameen).

Awais Ali Dec 24, 2014 11:53pm

very Hippocratic style of politics from MQM and JI. MQM is intensive critics of TTP but they don,t want their trails through military courts. Why? Because they know that half of the MQM will be under trail in military courts due to their Gundagardi in Karachi. And JI is sympathizer of TTP and they too don,t want to trail their brothers(TTP) through military courts. We still vote for them. when we will awake?

Syed Husain Dec 24, 2014 11:57pm

All I ask for is fair and expeditious trials by the military courts. I just hope and pray that innocent people are not brought before the military courts due to someone's personal vendetta. With that said, let us get going without any delay. Long live Pakistan.

saad Dec 25, 2014 12:09am

This is how Polotical parties and Nawaz Sharif as Leader should work. Hats Off to the NS and Raheel Sharif.

i2t Dec 25, 2014 12:10am

Why even military courts. A person captured with gernades, ammunition, explosive material and machine guns is obviously not a chef or baker. Kill him right there.

Mohammed Abbasi Dec 25, 2014 12:17am

Having Mullahs part of this and Ijaz Ul Haq - who is close to Mullah Burkah - is asking for failure. There needs to be serious people part of this solution - not those who are part of the problem.

GKA Dec 25, 2014 12:17am

This is unthinkable in a democracy. Military have no jurisdiction. At the end of the day the people will suffer because they have accepted the claim that the civilian institutions cannot deliver and only the military institutions can deliver. That is why it is said that while every state has an amry, in Pakistan's case, the Pakistani army has a state.

Ahsan Ali Dec 25, 2014 12:21am

Religious congregations on the streets should be totally banned. All Pakistanis are free to practice their religions in their homes and in their places of worship.

Emjay Dec 25, 2014 12:25am

The civilian judiciary can dispense justice but in return, they dont get protection of their lives and that of their families. Many judges are killed or have to get out of the country to protect themselves after taking decisions againt these terrorists. The judge who sentenced Qadri is a prime example. He had to leave the country.

Our civilian security apparatus is too weak for the terrorists. Therefore, we need military courts for a limited time period - I'd say one year. Military courts specialize on limited kinds of crimes, in this case terrorism, and can dispense speedy justice. Moreover, they are not scared of the terrorists.

One year of speedy hangings of terrorists and we'll see a remarkable decrease in terrorism attacks in the country. After things come in control a bit, the military courts can be stopped and civilian judiciary can take over. With terrorists weakened, civilian judiciary can take bold decisions once again.

We are at war. We need to think accordingly.

Kurd. A.A Dec 25, 2014 12:28am

@Iqbal Bhai , And you know why, because the military Court Judges are always from Punjab. Also their is bitter experience of the past. I hope this time the Military Courts will be honest, fair and non-bias and they will be welcomed.

imran Dec 25, 2014 12:38am

Formation of military courts is the only solution to counter terrorism but at the same time this move exposes the weaknesses of our policing and the judicial system.

Ahmad Raza Dec 25, 2014 12:39am

@Nizamuddin Ahmad Aali While giving up judicial control to the armed forces is a move away from democracy, I still think that it is needed in this time of war. Pakistan's judicial systems needs an overhaul - laws need to be changed, a witness protection plan must be instituted and judges/prosecutors must be given proper protection before one can rely on the civilian system to bring these barbarians to justice. These changes will take time. While these changes are made, the military courts are a stopgap solution that could provide the needed expediency utterly needed in terrorism cases at this time.

IBN E ASHFAQUE Dec 25, 2014 12:50am

@A Khokar All political parties have their Gullu Butts.

somo Dec 25, 2014 12:51am

Anti-corruption cases must also be under military court to controle the terrorists on a long term basis.

Bye Bye Dec 25, 2014 12:52am

Why do Pakistan has so many political parties in such a small country?

Secondly, Islam is a religion of peace and unity, why then hundreds of religious parties and groups and each preaching their own brand?

AJamal Dec 25, 2014 01:01am

How military courts would help control militancy is beyond comprehension. Besides, the constitution doesn't support such courts as fundamental rights are trampled by these courts.

Bye Bye Dec 25, 2014 01:03am

@Sunil

You forgot the most important mission, "Profitable Businesses" including a bakery in capital city.

krishna prasad Dec 25, 2014 01:07am

Achhe din ane wale hiiiiiiii.....???

AJamal Dec 25, 2014 01:07am

Terrorism can be defeated only with a counter narrative. Entire nation has failed to come up with a counter narrative in the last ten years. Secondly, the federal government needs to invest billions in building counter insurgency instead of metro buses.

Liaquat Dec 25, 2014 01:16am

JI stand is right. Military courts are not solution. It solve few issues but create many. Only civil constitutional courts are solution. Govt should work with strengthening witness protection and speedy trail. I dont know why so called champion of democracy like PPP and PTI are agreed on it.

Ahmer Dec 25, 2014 01:19am

Have any court so long as it hangs terrorists with weeks if not days. The time of legal qualms and hair splitting is long past.

Ashfaq1 Dec 25, 2014 01:50am

I think it's logical that Taliban and their cohorts are enemy combatants and therefore should come under military court jurisdiction (constitutional amendments not withstanding). Those suggesting why anti terrorism courts are not working. Because judges are too afraid to be blown into bits if they pass judgement against these outfits, if you recall the ATC in Rawalpindi was recently attacked by Taliban. I think it's the only option left

Joe FL Dec 25, 2014 02:23am

@Bye Bye

(quote) "Islam is a religion of peace and unity, why then hundreds of religious parties and groups and each preaching their own brand?"

It isn't only Islam. Study your world history. Do it objectively, without favoritism or prejudice of any kind. No religion ever has had a history of peace and unity. Pick a god: Baal, Osiris, Thor, Zeus, (we won't go further here for obvious reasons). Every religion's history has been one of conquest, civil strife, favoritism and exclusion of any others who don't follow the official state-accepted interpretation.

Today, the most peaceful manifestations of religion happen to occur in secular societies where civil freedom and religious freedom are separated.

Asad Dec 25, 2014 02:34am

@John you need to do some homework. MQM and people's safety are opposite poles my friend.

sher khan Dec 25, 2014 02:41am

@Nizamuddin Ahmad Aali : sadly politicians and judiciary have failed to bring these terrorists to justice. I am all for it, These military courts should also deal with corruption cases politicians too.

Asghar Siddiqui Dec 25, 2014 03:48am

Now Ulema and media have to start campaign against terrorism and extremism.

in your face Dec 25, 2014 04:08am

When musharaff was saying the same thing you were an obstructiionist.

Jalaluddin S. Hussain Dec 25, 2014 04:09am

While the terrorists should be given exemplary punishment, it is also important that both the federal and provincial governments should also put their own houses in order and bring about radical political, social, economic and educational changes, in the country.

Terrorism is directly related to lax governance and rampant corruption.

Let the political leaders bring back billions of dollars from outside safe havens and re-deposit them in the State Bank of Pakistan!

Will the fat "cats" do this?

May Allah give a place in jannat for the victims Dec 25, 2014 04:44am

I hope the military can investigate the peshawar massacre. I am certain some high profile politicians will be involved. Who has benefited from all this? Military is the only solution for pakistan. Laatoon ke bhoot baatoo se ni mante.

wizarat Dec 25, 2014 05:19am

@Dr. Abdul Manan Where was your Prime Minister for the last two years?

wizarat Dec 25, 2014 05:20am

@Ghani K Not just the Talibans, Zia was the father of Nawaz Sharif party also

wizarat Dec 25, 2014 05:21am

@Fareed (usa) It is no longer politics, it is survival of Pakistan

Syed (Australia) Dec 25, 2014 05:27am

Each and every action of Musharraf was in the interest of Pakistan, it is becoming clear that Musharraf was and still a true defender of Pakistan.

Sam Dec 25, 2014 05:51am

@Jack n Jill, What did we get with extraordinary decisions made in East Pakistan?

daada Dec 25, 2014 06:29am

This is the stupidest thing i have ever heard. Military is there for a reason and the judicial system is separate from the military for a reason. If these politicians are crying foul over "democracy" and not the dictatorship like zia or pervaiz, then step up and make the civilian judiciary strong enough.

Catch 22 here..

Farhan Dec 25, 2014 07:04am

Why the nation not united when Drone strike killed almost 168 children in North Waziristan back in 2011..... were they not Pakistani???? .......

ahmed Dec 25, 2014 08:32am

Why is intelligence not involved? Intelligence must be knowing the mayhem....

Imran Dec 25, 2014 08:38am

This just shows none of the 'parties' has courage to take a just and Morally correct stand.

Imran Dec 25, 2014 08:40am

@Dr. Abdul Manan This 'Blind' support led us to lose our Morals and sense of normality in the first place. Had We correctly Questioned them 30 years from now then none of this mess would have taken place. Still, it's better to start questioning them now and take them to task rather than to play the blind trust game again.

Riaz Dec 25, 2014 09:44am

"GREAT"

Riaz Dec 25, 2014 11:54am

Retied officers of Armed Forces may also be considered to perform this duty as service to the nation without any salary. Services' Chiefs may be approached to recommend names of suitable/volunteer retired officers.

Hamza Dec 25, 2014 06:09pm

let's wait for martial law, these political parties don't deserve to rule over us