Military Courts: Upholding Justice in Anti-Terrorism

You are currently viewing Military Courts: Upholding Justice in Anti-Terrorism
Image Credits: Deposit photos

Recently, the Supreme Court of Pakistan (SCP) has approved certain conditions allowing military courts to announce reserved judgments, which is a significant step forward in the country’s judicial system. While this decision comes amid ongoing debates about the efficacy and legitimacy of military courts in general, military courts are likely to play an important role in Pakistan’s legal system. It is equally important to understand such a decision of SCP, by placing it in a broader context, which is the need for swift justice in cases involving national security and terrorism.

The conditions validated by the Supreme Court and assurance of the Attorney General of Pakistan (AGP), reflect the prevalence of justice that introduces effective check on terrorism and vandalism. Moreover, the conferral of such assurance by AGP that detainees will be released on Eid’s Eve, symbolizes a measure of compassion and humaneness, embedded in the judicial process. It also affords a clear look at military commitment to prevail over the rule of law, while leaving no room for contradictions in Pakistan military’s objectives.

The decision on Military Courts also underscores the importance of expediting legal claims, especially those related to terrorism.

The decision on Military Courts also underscores the importance of expediting legal claims, especially those related to terrorism. The criteria imposed by SCP are there to maintain accountability and transparency, while dismissing any claims of abuse of power. Beyond that, the acceptance of appeals and oversight by civilian courts, ensures that civilian rights are protected during the whole legal proceedings of an individual, who is suspected of a crime.

Critics of Military Courts often disregard the acute need for their function in ongoing war against terrorism. Of late, the sharp rise of terrorism globally has necessitated the setting up of catastrophic legal tools that make it possible to fight the complex security threats in legal domain, on a fast track basis. Countries like the United States, Colombia, and Turkey have successfully utilized Military Courts in recent past, as one of the juridical instruments, functional under exceptional circumstances, as an accelerated process of justice dispensation.

In the wake of the slaughter of innocent children and staff members of the Army Public School by a bungled indescribable attack in Peshawar, Pakistan, in the year 2014, the provincial authorities constituted Military Courts for the trial of terrorism offenses. The mandate of those courts was clear: to clamp down on the acts of vengeance by individuals involved in acts of terrorism and insurgency. Due to the efficacy of those Military Courts, terrorist leaders and their organizations were eventually indicted against their heinous crimes. Subsequently, those indictments led to the disbanding of certain terrorist networks.

In addition to this, the backlog and incompetence adequately explain the disadvantageous character of the civilian judicial system in Pakistan, which in turn clarifies the need for alternative mechanisms that enable time-bound justice. The caseload with little pragmatic results as well as judicial procrastination increases the distrust of the general populace on the judicial system of the country besides promoting the culture of impunity.

As approval of Military Courts appear to be a requirement-based solution for the problem being confronted, Courts are likely to deliver justice to the victims of terrorism and vandalism and help in prevalence of peace in the society. Military Courts will also close the door on any acts of vandalism akin to May 9th, 2022, riots, which were perpetrated by certain political quarters for their personal gains following a baseless rhetoric. It is in this backdrop that decision on Military Courts is being taken as a welcoming development.

Surge in terror acts on Pakistani soil by Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) while operating from a country in the West is a clear and present danger.

Surge in terror acts on Pakistani soil by Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) while operating from a country in the West is a clear and present danger. The mere fact that TTA-TTP nexus is nourishing under over watch of IEA is an alarming development. On the other hand, the resolve of Pakistani nation and its Armed Forces in combating terrorism in all its forms and manifestation remains unflinching. The valor and steadfast resolve of Pakistani soldiers and civilians in soliciting terror-free future generations is highly commendable.

Sequel to terror attacks on Chinese interests in Pakistan has resulted in formation of joint security of Armed Forces and LEAs of Pakistan with their Chinese allies is likely to a solid foundation for eradication of the menace of terrorism and preservation of peace and stability across the length and breadth of Pakistan.
Also Read: SC Verdict – Ramifications

While there are no two opinions about the fact that Military Courts will significantly contribute towards judicial system of Pakistan by ensuring time-based and fearless dispensation of justice, it is also important to consider and assess the likely reasons and repercussions of the scourge of terrorism in the country. On the basis of priority, legal requirements be completed, political and social considerations be reviewed and likely implications towards national economy be measured.  

The root cause needs to be established and fixed, if the state is looking for sustained solutions of the problem. Although Military Courts may provide temporary relief in fight against terrorism, these by themselves cannot address the factual reasons behind extremism or terrorism. Military Courts should not be the only efforts that are undertaken to mitigate radicalization and extremism. Such efforts should rather be viewed as a broader tactic, which aims to improve inclusivity and tolerance.

To conclude, the Supreme Court has invested in pre-empting the tactics of radicalism adjudicating Military Courts to punish the offenders, which manifests rather a pragmatic way of curbing terrorism and vandalism in Pakistan. It proves that the intention of the judiciary and the reason, why the military courts are in existence is to uphold the rule of law and to respect unregulated circumstances. In the next step, as paramount as the expedition, is the need for a peaceful resolution of issues of justice which in the process safeguards the rights of all persons on trials, while still fighting terrorism effectively.

+ posts

Your go-to editorial hub for insightful perspectives and informed analysis on pressing policy issues, both regionally and globally

Editorial Desk

Your go-to editorial hub for insightful perspectives and informed analysis on pressing policy issues, both regionally and globally