Military Courts in Pakistan: Will they return? What are the implications?

Military Courts in Pakistan: Will they return? What are the implications?

NIAS Strategic Forecast No. 12 | Author: D Suba Chandran | January 2017

To read the complete report click here

To cite: D Suba Chandran. “Military Courts in Pakistan: Will they return? What are the implications?,” NIAS Strategic Forecast No. 12. Bangalore: International Strategic and Security Studies Programme, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Januaury 2017.


During the first week of January 2017, many in Pakistan were surprised, when the government allowed the earlier Parliamentary legislation on the military courts to elapse. The civil society in Pakistan, to a large extent, responded positively to this development and wanted the government to take control and initiate a political and legal process to address terrorism. However, two press releases – post 7 January 2017 from the PMO and the military’s ISPR hint at the return of military courts.

A section within Pakistan also wants to extend the military courts for the following reasons. They consider that the regular courts are not fool proof, take time and allow the militants to escape from getting convicted. They also argue that the military courts dispense justice at a faster pace and death sentences will convey a strong message to the terrorists and prevent them from pursuing a violent course. So, will the military courts get re-established? And what will be its long term political implications?

To read the complete report click here

About the Author: D. Suba Chandran is a Professor at the ISSSP, NIAS. He works on J&K, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

One Response to Military Courts in Pakistan: Will they return? What are the implications?

  1. V. Siddhartha says:

    The establishment of military courts in Pakistan — which were wound-up at the begining of January, 2017 under Caluse 1(3) of the Pakistan Army (Amendment) Act, 2015 — was not just a matter of facilitating speedy trial of those accused of committing terror-related crimes listed under the categories in Clause 2(1) of the Act. They were not just ‘fast track’ courts. The primary issue was the jurisprudence that formed the basis of the judgements of these courts and the challengeability, or otherwise, of those judgements in the Pakistan Supreme Court.

    But post the winding-up of these courts, all such issues are moot. Most importantly for us in India, Hafiz Saeed cannot be tried under the provisions of the (now defunct) Act, and also the reason why this terror master-mind has been house-arrested by Pakistan only now — after the sun has set on the referenced Act.

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