Military courts resume in Pak as Prez gives nod

| Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:20 IST

Islamabad [Pakistan], Mar. 31 (ANI): President Mamnoon Hussain on Friday gave his formal nod to the Pakistan Army Act 2017 and the 23rd Constitutional Amendment Bill - the two pieces of legislation aimed at granting legal cover to military courts. The 28th Constitutional Amendment Bill when tabled was titled the 23rd Constitutional Amendment Bill. However, it will now be called the 28th Amendment Bill, reports the Dawn. Military courts were disbanded earlier in January this year, after a sunset clause included in the legal provisions expired. Pakistan had legalised military court trials of terror suspects for a period of two years in January 2015 - soon after the terror attack on Peshawar's Army Public School in December 2014 in which 144 people, mostly children, were killed by Taliban militants. These courts were given a two-year constitutional cover that ended in January. The controversial special powers empower military courts to try civilian terror suspects, which has been a major concern of its critics. The military courts do not grant convicts the essential components of a fair and free trial, as they lack in transparency and do not allow convicts the option to appeal to civilian courts. Till recently, the government and the opposition had struggled to reach a consensus on reviving the courts despite frequent discussions. (ANI)