Thursday, September 3, 2015

Military Courts should be set up all-over Pakistan

August 18, 2015

By Saeed Qureshi

In the wake of ongoing successful military onslaught against the miscreants and outlaws in Karachi and FATA region, the mandate of the army may be extended to the entire country for a specific period of time. With that limited mandate the military courts should be established for trial of the cases pertaining to terrorism, corruption and other serious crimes. This suggestion would look plausible if viewed in the backdrop of lacuna and deficiencies of the traditional judicial system.

First of all the judiciary feels itself insecure and vulnerable to the brutal retaliation of the criminals gangs and the mafias that brook no mercy for their perceived targets. As such the judiciary stalls the verdicts indefinitely. If somehow some of the criminals are sent to jail they are freed by their cohorts by assailing prisons, killing more people and damaging the properties. 

There have been several incidents of jail breaks and direct assaults on certain jails in various cities of Pakistan hosting the terror captives. In other cases the courts were ransacked as was done in Islamabad with casualties of the sitting judges.

Also the judiciary low or high doesn’t enjoy a good reputation in relation to dispensation of unalloyed and fair justice. The acronym bribe is invariably associated more with police and court system of the country. The police too are not cast in an absolutely honest mold that could resist or ward off perks and inducements doled out by both by the grieved or aggressive parties. In this sleazy competition of winning the police or the judiciary the casualty is the true and fair justice.

The culture of bribe and highhandedness is so rampant and deeply entrenched in our society that it cannot be rooted out even partially by any efforts and tightening of laws and by whom. The individuals in power and positions of prestige have their touts in and out of police and judiciary that influence the decisions irrespective of the merit of the cases in their favor.

W to expect legal or administrative propriety is asking for the moon when the custodians of law and protectors of the honor of the life, liberty and property of the citizens are up to neck in subverting law and refuse to distinguish between right and wrong.  We have seen the murderers and other culprits remaining in jails for years without their cases being heard to establish the veracity or otherwise of the pending case. 

The evidence or the witnesses’ module is a system that can be manipulated if the cases prolongs for years if not decades. The witnesses forget the basics of the incidents of theft or murder etc. or change their statements under pressure or graft or run away or else die.

Countless religious militants who were proven terrorists and killers could not be given sentences because the judges or the lawyers and advocates faced threats to their own lives and families. During the past few years quite a few counsels, witnesses or judges and magistrates have been killed by the militants and other hardened criminals to instill fear.

The civil judiciary and the police cadres don’t have the muscle and network to browbeat the countless culprits and lawbreakers and religious warriors and tread the hair thin course of justice.  Malik Ishaq a Pakistani militant,Deobandi supremacist and head of the religious outfit Lashkar-e-Jhangvi who was recently killed during a bloody encounter between the police and a bunch of his followers always came out of the court with bail and making a victory sign with his fingers. 

Such is the ferocity and tyrannical influence of the religious outlaws that the courts look like puppets or a place of helpless pretenders.

The army and for that matter the rangers have proven their mettle in restoring social peace and normal life in Karachi by nabbing and sentencing countless enemies of public peace. The reason is they are trained for the kind of task assigned to them. They have the control and command system, weaponry and firepower to effectively counter criminals. 

The military courts hand out prompt decisions by summary hearing and are not under the mortal fear of being ambushed by the ruthless sharp shooters. They don’t have political affiliations or favorites etc. That is why Karachi is returning to normalcy and the commuters and business and industry is gearing up once again.
With the time bound mandate the army rangers as well police can flush out the trigger happy killers, extortionists, land grabbers, kidnappers and smash cartels of villains of all hues and cries. Once the country shows signs of returning to normalcy and peaceful life, the rangers and army can go back to the barracks. 

The military courts can operate to decide the fate of the criminals without loss of time and entertaining pressure from politicians and other stake-holders. The country is passing through a monumental crisis and the only way-out to restore peace, confidence and normal life is extending the operations of rangers and army beyond Karachi.

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