PAKISTAN should not have military courts, not in the expanded form envisioned by the military and political leadership of the country, not to try civilians on terrorism charges and not even for a limited period of time.
Military courts are simply not compatible with a constitutional democracy.
In the immediate aftermath of the Peshawar school massacre, politicians and the military leadership rightly came together to respond urgently to the terror threat that stalks this country.
What they did wrong was to decide on military courts as the lynchpin of a new strategy to fight terrorism.
Perhaps with a country convulsed with grief and the PML-N government on weak ground — given that until recently the party was insisting on dialogue with the elements behind the Peshawar calamity — there was little resistance to the military’s demand that terrorist suspects be tried in military courts, and presumably summarily executed thereafter.
Perhaps also the full range of opposition political parties present were overawed by the presence of the army chief and DG ISI in Peshawar, and those opposed to military courts decided that it was futile to oppose them in the circumstances.
Continue reading Military courts: a wrong move
New York: Taliban’s reclusive leader Mullah Muhammad Omar is alive and hiding in the Pakistani city of Karachi, a top Afghan intelligence official has said, echoing a similar assessment by Western intelligence officials.
“There is a lot of doubt whether he is alive or not. But we are more confident that he is in Karachi,” acting Afghan intelligence chief Rahmatullah Nabil was quoted as saying in the New York Times regarding Omar’s whereabouts.
An European official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said in the NYT report that there is a “consensus among all three branches of the Afghan security forces that Mullah Omar is alive”.
“Not only do they think he’s alive, they say they have a good understanding of where exactly he is in Karachi,” the Pakistani metropolis where some say Mullah Omar is hiding. The report said that Mullah Omar has always functioned more as the spiritual and ideological leader of the movement than as an operational commander.
His inner circle, made up of village mullahs who have known one another for decades, has provided the active leadership of the Taliban’s many local factions. “But now one man, Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour, has risen to the No 2 role and become the main link to Mullah Omar, allowing him to place his loyalists up and down the ranks,”
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