RAWALPINDI: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Raheel Sharif on Tuesday confirmed death sentences, awarded by military courts, of another 13 ‘hardcore terrorists,’ said the military’s media wing in statement to the press.
The convicts were involved in “committing heinous offences relating to terrorism, including killing of foreign tourists at Nanga Parbat, attack on Saidu Sharif Airport, destruction of schools, attacks on armed forces, law enforcement agencies and civilians,” read the statement.
Establishment of military courts
Political parties had unanimously agreed over the issue of setting up military courts to tackle terrorism cases in the country following the gruesome attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar in December 2014, following which the Parliament passed the 21st constitutional amendment in Jan 2015 to set up the said courts.
President Mamnoon Hussain had also promulgated an ordinance further revising the recently amended Army Act to ostensibly aid the functioning of military courts by allowing for trials in camera, i.e without the presence of the public or the media, and over video link if necessary.
The Supreme Court in a majority ruling upheld the establishment of military courts in Pakistan.
Petitions challenging the 21st amendment were dismissed in August last year in a majority 11-6 vote of the 17-member SC bench.
In a 14-3 majority vote, petitions challenging the 18th amendment were also dismissed by the bench.
In its editorials, Dawn has criticised the establishment of military courts for “simply not being compatible with a constitutional democracy.” -Dawn
THE PASHTUN TIMES