Military courts a need for country, not Army's wish: DG ISPR

RAWALPINDI: Military courts are not the wish of the Pakistan Army but a need of the country, the spokesperson of the military’s media wing said.

During an interview with a private news channel, Major General Asif Ghafoor, the director-general of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said there was a wave of terrorism in the country and, after 2008, military operations against it gained momentum, with many terrorists arrested.

Maj Gen Ghafoor said Pakistan’s criminal justice system is not quite effective in dealing with such cases and military courts were established after the Parliament unanimously approved them.

The extension in the courts was of two years and they will continue if the Parliament backs the extension, the DG ISPR said, adding that the courts created fear among the terrorists.

The Army spokesperson said 646 of the 717 cases in the military courts in a four-year period were logically concluded. Some 345 terrorists were given death sentences, he added.

Whenever the Army chief confirms a death sentence, the convict appeals to the president and, if he is not pardoned, then these cases go to civil courts at times, the DG ISPR said.