Sunday, August 30, 2015

Low batting average for Sindh military trial recommendations

According to this Express Tribune article, the Sindh provincial government has recommended 74 cases for trial before Pakistan's new military courts, but only three have been approved by the Interior Ministry. What could be the possible explanation(s)?

  • the need for the military courts was not as great as claimed
  • the provincial authorities are recommending cases that either do not merit military court trial or that lack the requisite evidence
  • the Interior Ministry is moving too slowly
  • the Interior Ministry is applying too high an evidentiary standard in evaluating provincial recommendations (either in general or simply those from Sindh)
  • there has been a sudden dramatic improvement in the effectiveness of Sindh's civilian criminal and anti-terrorism courts
The article reports:
Replying to a question of the chief minister, [Home Secretary Mukhtiar] Soomro said, “Presently, we have scrutinised 10 cases in our legal committee, which has cleared eight cases including the attack on Justice Maqbool Baqar, Nishter Park blast, attack on four policemen, attack on Gulistan-e-Jauhar police station, sectarian murder in New Karachi and five other connected cases.”

[Chief Minister Qasim Ali] Shah directed the home secretary to scrutinise more cases because Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif has already ordered the establishment of more military courts in Karachi.
This suggests another bullet point explanation for the paucity of cases referred for military court trial:
  •  insufficient number of military courts
Why is this reminiscent of moviedom's "build it and they will come"? Court of Dreams?

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