"SC endorses Military Courts, a need of hour"
The Supreme Court has rejected petitions filed against the 18th and 21st constitution amendments.
A seventeen-member bench headed by Chief Justice Nasirul Mulk had completed hearing on the petitions on the 26th June last.
Announcing the verdict , the bench ordered to keep the military courts intact.
Meanwhile, speaking in the National Assembly on Wednesday, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has said that Supreme Court's verdict would establish supremacy of the Parliament.
He said all the parliamentary parties had reservations about military courts but the step was imperative to purge the country of terrorists.
Speaking in Radio Pakistan's Nuqta-e-Nazar program, Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada (Federal Minister for Inter Provincial Coordination) said : “Pakistan has been facing terrorism from last fifteen years. Terrorism and other crimes have increased during the last decade. The 21st constitutional amendment was quite necessary for sovereignty of the country. This amendment is a legal requirement to take some extraordinary steps to root out the menace of terrorism from the country. After the Supreme Court’s decision, the law enforcement agencies can take action against terrorists and their facilitators in the country. The credit of this amendment goes to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who took onboard all the political parties and brought consensus on this national issue. A majority of the parliament has approved this amendment. We can observe the results of successful operation Zarb-e-Azb in the country; our national economy has become stable, the foreign reserves have increased and the foreign investors are more willing to invest in Pakistan. International institutions have also recognized our progress. All positive things are directly related to the improved law and order situation of the country, which was not possible without the National Action Plan.”
Barrister Zafar Ullah (Legal Expert) said: “Pakistan is passing through an extra ordinary situation. We have been facing terrible situation due to terrorism from last fifteen years. All the political parties had decided to take extraordinary steps to curb the terrorism and they had made a comprehensive national action plan in this regard. Parliament is a supreme institution of the country and it passed 21st constitutional amendment to speed up the justice system in the country. Today, the Supreme Court of Pakistan has also endorsed this amendment. This decision would be helpful to complete National Action Plan. The people of Pakistan want complete elimination of terrorism from the country, which was not possible without the establishment of military courts. The trial of terrorists is also not possible in formal courts because of several factors i.e. sense of insecurity, procedural delays etc.”
Lt. General (R) Abdul Qayum Khan (Senator, PML-N) said: “Today’s decision is need of the hour. Our country is passing through a state of war and we have already faced huge losses due to terrorism. The speedy justice system to convict the terrorists is quite necessary and it will create sense of fear among terrorists. In total, nine military courts have been set up in the country which will only try the terrorists and their facilitators. All the political forces have demonstrated that they are against the terrorism and will fight against terrorism with full unity. Today, the court decision has further strengthened the National Action Plan to counter terrorism.”
Dr. Tariq Fazal Chaudhry (MNA, PML-N) said: “Our government had taken onboard all the stakeholders, including all political forces, heads of armed forces and brought consensus on National Action Plan. All the political parties were agreed on this point that the establishment of military courts is need of the hour to speed up the trials of terrorists. After the 21st amendment, some people challenged this amendment in the apex court and after thorough proceedings the court today dismissed all the petitions and fully endorsed this historic amendment. After this decision the special military courts will work efficiently and convict those who are involved in the killing of innocent Pakistanis. This decision will further reinforce the national action plan and it will contribute in the elimination of terrorism. Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman has some partial reservations on this amendment regarding reforms in religious seminaries, but the registration and monitoring of these seminaries is quite necessary for the eradication of terrorism.”
Mariam Aurangzeb (MNA, PML-N) said: “The parliament of Pakistan had approved 21st constitutional amendment after the brutal attack on Army Public School Peshawar. Today, the Apex Court has given a historic decision over the said amendment and dismissed all the petitions against 21st constitutional amendment. This amendment was passed to strengthen the law enforcement agencies to counter the terrorism. This decision has cleared all ambiguities regarding national action plan, which were prevailing due to the case subjudiced in the court of law. After the decision, the speedy justice system will be set up in the country to convict the terrorists and militants who kill innocent people.”
Syed Zafar Ali Shah (Legal Expert) said: “Today’s decision is historic which endorsed the 18th and 21st constitutional amendments. After the verdict of the apex court, there is no stone left behind the smooth implementation of National Action Plan. The military courts can try the terrorists and their facilitators on speedy bases. Although, the establishment of military courts was a difficult decision for national leadership, but 21st amendment itself contains the timeframe of the said courts. These courts will stop working after the improvement in law and order situation of the country. The credit of this amendment goes to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and other leaders who worked a lot to bring consensus on this issue. Court has delivered a land mark decision today and the dissenting note of three judges also shows the independence of judiciary.”
Shahida Rehmani (MNA, PPPP) said: “Today’s decision is quite positive because it has established the supremacy of the parliament, and it is also the victory of democracy. Pakistan has faced irreparable losses due to ongoing acts of terrorism. Our soldiers, officers, general public and leaders have been martyred in brutal attacks of terrorists. Mosques, Imam Bargahs, markets and other institutions were targeted by terrorists. Now, the military courts will do speedy justice by convicting and executing the terrorists on prompt bases. All the political parties are on same page against terrorism. Pakistan People’s Party fully supports the National Action Plan to curb terrorism.”