Friday, June 23, 2017

Ah, Pakistan . . .

It is reported here that Pakistani authorities are considering referring another 227 persons to military courts for trial. These civilians have already been confined, some for years, awaiting trial before the Anti-Terrorism Courts, but the authorities have now concluded that military trials are necessary because two other men broke out of jail recently. Excerpt from Dawn:
The decision was taken after the recent escape of two high-profile militants affiliated with the banned sectarian outfit Lashkar-i-Jhangvi from Central Prison Karachi, said the officer while speaking at a press conference at his office. 
Their military trial was necessary when such hardcore militants had created an “intimidating atmosphere” in the prison where they acted as ‘dons’ while cases against them had been pending trial before antiterrorism courts for the past many years, he added.
Some three months ago, the CTD had written a letter to the relevant authorities asking them that around 60 UTPs, including the two LJ militants who had recently escaped from the prison, should be moved from Karachi to jails in other parts of Sindh, he said.
There were several reasons for this recommendation, the officer disclosed, explaining that the CTD had apprehensions that the militants might reactivate their networks in the metropolis. He said the recent escape of Mumtaz Shaikh and Ahmed alias Munna, who had been allegedly involved in more than 60 murders, from the Central Prison Karachi vindicated their stance.
Thus, Pakistan's military courts are now taking the place of both the civilian judiciary and the Anti-Terrorism Courts. Pakistan's military courts do not come close to meeting contemporary standards for independence and the observance of human rights principles.

Shifting gears a bit, it has also been reported that Pakistan's military court of appeal has denied the appeal of Indian citizen Kulbhushan Jadhav, who is under a sentence of death from a military court. Clemency can be granted by the Chief of Army Staff or the President of Pakistan.

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