Islamabad: Pakistan’s Attorney General (AGP) Mansoor Usman Awan on Friday sought a month’s time from the Supreme Court on the issue of granting the right of appeal to people tried in military courts.
The AGP said, “The matter needs to be considered very carefully; it should be done in such a way that the country’s position at the global level is not affected.”
The AGP’s request came during the hearing of similar petitions challenging the government’s decision to try civilians in military courts.
The six-member bench comprised Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Muneeb Akhtar, Justice Yahya Afridi, Justice Syed Mazhar Ali Akbar Naqvi and Justice Ayesha Malik.
Following arrests made in connection with the violent riots that broke out across the country on 9 May, the government announced its decision to prosecute in a military court those found guilty of damaging and attacking military installations – a move that both the government and the military considered a low blow.
In light of this decision, five civil society members, including PTI chairman Imran Khan, former chief justice Jawwad S Khawaja, legal expert Aitzaz Ahsan and Pilar executive director Karamat Ali, requested the apex court to declare the military trials as “unconstitutional”.
In the petition filed through his counsel, the former CJP contended that Section 2(1)(d)(i) and (ii) of the Pakistan Army Act are inconsistent with the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution and should be struck down.
In addition, five members of civil society from different cities – represented by Faisal Siddiqui – appealed to the top court to declare the trial of civilians in military courts illegal.
Similarly, Ahsan’s petition challenged the government’s decision to try civilians in military courts.
More to follow…