Extend tenure of military courts

AS the nation mourn victims of APS students on the occasion of second anniversary of the tragedy, some sections of media and civil society have rightly drawn attention towards expiry of the Constitutional amendment under which military courts were established two years back to ensure quick disposal of cases of terrorism. These courts are completing their life on January 7, 2017 when the cases being heard by them would obviously be transferred to ordinary system of justice, which has miserably failed to deliver.
Military courts were necessitated as the terrorists were successfully exploiting loopholes in the existing system to go scot-free. There are instances when cases lingered on for years and in some cases decades but at the end of the day no justice was meted out to the aggrieved who lost their near and dear ones in incidents of terrorism and target killings. Though the military courts could not function as originally envisioned and convictions given by them were mostly stayed by the judiciary but despite all this these served as deterrence to some extent. A firm message was conveyed that terrorists and hardcore criminals will ultimately be sent to gallows. Some vested interests have been opposing these courts, forgetting that these were not meant for ordinary souls but those who took precious and innocent lives. Terrorists are indeed human beings but they need no sympathy because of what they have been doing. There was no justification to keep the two-year condition when the lawmakers and policy-makers knew well that there was no imminent end to the menace of terrorism. However, two-year timeframe was supposed to be utilized by the federal and provincial governments to strengthen normal judicial system and come out with foolproof mechanism to dispose of cases of terrorism expeditiously, which unfortunately has not been done. Therefore, there is every justification to extend tenure of military courts at least for three more years so that they are able to clear all the cases referred to them.

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