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Military courts not army’s wish; parliament to decide on extension: DG ISPR

RAWALPINDI: Spokesperson of Pakistan Armed Forces Major General Asif Ghafoor has said that the military courts were not established on Army’s wish; instead they were the need of the nation at that time, ARY News reported on Friday.

In an interview to a private TV channel, the Director General of Inter-Services Public Relations (DG ISPR) said that at the time they were established, the country was in the grip of terrorism and the courts were created to eliminate that menace.

“Military courts were established through a consensus after the attack on Army Public School in Peshawar; later, the parliament granted an extension in their term”, he said.

Reacting on the current debate about another extension in the term of military courts, Maj Gen Ghafoor said that it was for the parliament to decide and the military would do what the parliament tells it to do.

Read More: Qureshi, Khattak tasked to consult opposition for extension in military courts

“Military courts instilled fear in terrorists and a remarkable decline in terrorism-related incidents was seen after the military courts [were established]”, he said.

Maj Gen Ghafoor also said that the criminal justice system of the country needed reforms and it should be seen if the [criminal justice] system has become effective in dispensing justice.

Maj Gen Ghafoor said that the impression that the military courts violated the fundamental right of a fair trial was unfair. “The suspects are given a due chance to present their version [in the military courts], and all the legal formalities are fulfilled”, he said.

Outlining the performance of military courts so far, Maj Gen Ghafoor informed that in last four years, 717 cases were referred to military courts out of which 646 had been decided so far.

“345 convicts have been handed death sentence [by the military courts] whereas 56 have been hanged till death”, he said.

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