The federal cabinet, in its last meeting, cleared 29 terrorism-related cases to be sent to the military courts, Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal said in an interview to Geo News on Friday.
According to an earlier report in the media, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa had sent a letter to Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, pointing out that military courts had not received any terrorism-related cases since January.
Ahsan confirmed that the letter was received by the Prime Minister House, adding that it [the letter] had already been answered. He added that 80 more cases, once they are approved by the cabinet, will be forwarded to be tried in the military courts.
“After this, the interior ministry will not have any more cases pending,” he clarified.
Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif had agreed to refer cases of hardcore terrorists, who are responsible for mass murders of innocent civilians, kids and young soldiers, to special military courts in the National Action Plan (NAP) that was formulated in 2015 after the Army Public School (APS) massacre.
A total of 275 cases of terrorism had been referred to the military courts, set up in January 2015, in the aftermath of the APS attack.
The military courts were granted an extension of two years when the 28th Amendment Bill was approved by President Mamnoon Hussain in March this year.
The military courts began trials in February 2015 and the first convictions were announced two months later. The trials were held in camera. Most of those tried were being held in internment centres set up under the Actions in Aid of Civil Power Regulations, 2011 for holding suspects arrested during operations in the tribal areas.