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Interim Pakistan Government Challenges Ruling on Trial of Civilians in Military Courts

Pakistan’s interim government filed an appeal Friday in the Supreme Court against last month’s ruling in the top court that declared civilians being tried in military courts as “unconstitutional.”

The appeal filed by the Law Ministry through the Attorney General asked the top court to set aside the decision and allow civilian trials in military courts.

A five-judge bench of the top court, led by Justice Ijazul Ahsan, said the Constitution gives citizens the right to a fair trial and military trials of civilians arrested for alleged involvement in violence in May are “unconstitutional.” The top court declared it null and void in its 4 – 1 verdict.

Scores of protesters were held following violence on May 9, which included attacks on military installations, when former Premier Imran Khan was arrested in a corruption case. Some faced military trials under the Army Act.

Since then, Khan’s party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), has faced a crackdown, with thousands of workers said to be behind bars and several key leaders leaving his side.

Khan is also facing trial in an official Secrets Acts case and is currently being held in a prison near Islamabad.

The PTI denies involvement in attacks on public and private property, and terms the violence a conspiracy against the party.

Protest in Senate against military courts

Several senators from different political parties strongly protested a resolution passed by some members of the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) in the absence of a majority of senators on Monday and urged the top court to “reconsider” its verdict on military trials of civilians.

On Friday, when the session began, dozens of senators stood on their seats and demanded the chairman allow them to speak and a withdrawal of the Monday resolution.

They chanted slogans against “military courts” and vowed that senators would not be allowed to use parliament for anti-democratic resolutions.

Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani, who belongs to BAP, adjourned the session until Monday and has not allowed the senators to speak against the resolution and military courts.

Source : aa