Military Trials Of Civilians

Pak Federal Govt Justifies Military Trials Of Civilians

Military Trials Of Civilians

Defending its decision of military trials of civilians, involved in incidents of violence and vandalism targeted at military installations and government buildings, the federal government of Pakistan has termed them as a direct attack on the national security of the country, reported The Nation.

The federal government claimed on Monday that acts of violence against the armed forces and vandalism against military installations harmed Pakistan’s security, interests, and defence since they directly threatened the country’s national security.
On behalf of the federal government, Mansoor Usman Awan, the attorney general of Pakistan, filed a response to the petitions objecting to the trials of civilians in military courts and pleaded for their dismissal.

He claimed that the episodes of May 9, 2023, entail planned and coordinated targeted attacks on numerous military stations and establishments around the country. The attacks weren’t specific to one area or isolated, as per The Nation.

The Nation is a leading daily newspaper based in Lahore, Pakistan.

According to him, the events of May 9 point to a planned and intentional effort to weaken the country’s armed forces and impede domestic security as numerous military facilities were simultaneously targeted.

It also stated that on that date, 62 violent incidents were reported in Punjab alone, injuring almost 250 individuals, including 184 members of the law enforcement community. 139 vehicles in all, including 98 government vehicles, suffered partial or total damage.

The overall damage caused by the violence on May 9, and the hours that followed is estimated to be worth Pakistan Rupee (PKR) 2539.19 million, including PKR 1982.95 million in losses to military installations, equipment, and vehicles.

It further stated that multiple FIRs were filed against the culprits as a result of the events on June 9. Even while some FIRs do not explicitly specify the provisions of the Army Act, it is important to remember that this Court has ruled that the nature of the offences made out depends on the content of the FIR, not on whether a specific statutory provision is mentioned, according to The Nation.

The court maintained, “Thus, the mere fact that the offences under the provisions of the Official Secrets Act, 1923 triable under the Pakistan Army Act, 1952 (Army Act) have not been mentioned in some of the FIRs registered regarding the events of 09-05-2023 does not imply that offences under the Army Act cannot be made out from the contents of said FIRs. Even otherwise, in some of the FIRs the provisions of the Official Secrets Act, 1923 have been specifically mentioned.”

“The challenges raised in the titled Petitions can adequately be adjudicated by the High Courts in their original constitutional jurisdiction under Article 199 of the Constitution which empowers the High Courts to “make an order […] as may be appropriate for the enforcement of any of the fundamental rights,” as per The Nation.

“It is noteworthy that the titled petitions seek to challenge the trial of those accused of offences ensuing from the violent event of 09-05-2023 under the provisions of the Army Act on two grounds,” said the reply.

It also said that the titled petitions fall outside the purview of the contours that this Court has determined for the exercise of its original jurisdiction, in that the subject matter can adequately be adjudicated by the High Courts under Article 199 of the Constitution.

“It is also important to highlight that both the Army Act and the Official Secrets Act, 1923 (Official Secrets Act) not only predate the Constitution but were never, to date, challenged. As such, all actions taken or being taken under the Army Act and the Official Secrets Act are the fair exercise of power, in accordance with the law,” maintained the reply, reported The Nation. (ANI)

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