Supreme Court Trials of Civilians in Military Courts: Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah Raises Concerns

By | June 24, 2023

In a recent statement, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah expressed apprehension regarding the Supreme Court’s handling of the petitions challenging the trials of civilians in military courts. The minister, addressing the National Assembly, drew attention to the formation of the bench and the alleged political motivations behind the petitions.

Questioning the Constitutionality of Military Court Trials

Rana Sanaullah emphasized that a nine-member bench, as suggested by the most senior judge of the Supreme Court, had not been constituted to hear the case pertaining to military court trials. He claimed that the petitioners, driven by their political agenda, had met with a leader from the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party and a senior Supreme Court judge before filing the case. This insinuated a premeditated discussion on the formation of the bench.

The interior minister referred to an audio leak, further asserting that a specific bench had been orchestrated to ensure a favorable outcome. He highlighted that the court’s authority was limited in granting a stay on an existing law currently in the process of passage, as it would contravene the Constitution. Sanaullah emphasized the significance of upholding the law and the country’s Constitution within the framework of the judiciary.

Justice in the Trial of Civilians in Military Courts

Rana Sanaullah stressed the expectation that the Supreme Court’s decision on the trial of civilians in military courts aligns with the aspirations of the Pakistani people. He underscored the importance of ensuring that those responsible for attacking military installations and desecrating martyrs’ memorials face justice. The interior minister acknowledged the nation’s lack of sympathy for individuals involved in the incidents on May 9 and called for their accountability.

Addressing the Greece Boat Tragedy

During his address, Minister Sanaullah touched upon the tragic capsizing of a boat near Greece, which resulted in the loss of numerous lives. Out of the 350 Pakistanis on board, only 12 survived, prompting 281 affected families in Pakistan to seek assistance from the government. Consequently, a dedicated desk has been established to address the needs of the affected families, with DNA samples collected from 193 families for identification purposes.

Investigating Irregularities in Travel Documents

Sanaullah informed the House that investigations are underway regarding the use of legal documents and visas by Pakistani nationals traveling to countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Libya, and Egypt, who then proceed to Europe using illegal documents. The minister highlighted the need to address loopholes in the relevant laws and proposed amendments to ensure exemplary punishment for those involved in the heinous crime of human smuggling. He expressed concern over the leniency shown towards apprehended human smugglers, emphasizing that bail should not be easily granted to such offenders.

Committee Formation and Future Steps

To address the issues surrounding the Greece boat tragedy and human smuggling, a special committee headed by a Grade 22 officer has been formed under the Prime Minister’s directives. The committee is expected to present comprehensive recommendations for approval by the government. Sanaullah affirmed that any negligence found on the part of officials in Pakistan will not be tolerated.

Allegations of Corruption Against Former Chief Minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi

In an additional development, the interior minister accused former Chief Minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi of engaging in corruption during his tenure, alleging that he received preferential treatment from the courts.

In conclusion, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah’s remarks shed light on the concerns surrounding the trials of civilians in military courts and their implications for justice in Pakistan. The addressing of the Greece boat tragedy and the investigation into human smuggling further underscore the government’s commitment to tackle these pressing issues. The formation of a special committee and proposed amendments to relevant laws indicate a proactive approach in addressing the challenges at hand. As the nation moves forward, it is crucial to ensure that the principles of justice, accountability, and adherence to the Constitution guide the decision-making process.

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