The Veterans of Pakistan (formerly PESA) on Saturday said it is absolutely necessary that military courts continue to function till complete peace is restored across the country.
Pakistan is not only facing threat from TTP but also from other groups including ISIS and Daesh, which should not be taken lightly, it said.
A meeting of VOP was held with its President Lt. Gen. Ali Kuli Khan (Retd) in the chair in which it was observed that the issue of military courts should not be used to gain political mileage as it is linked with national security.
Those who are crying for human rights should also look at USA, the most powerful democracy in the world which needed a detention centre like Guantanamo Bay, they added. They said that Guantanamo Bay is the worst kind of prison in modern world but it is considered a necessity for national security of USA.
Even inside USA, their Patriot Act has given vast powers to investigation agencies and far enhanced punishments for the convicted. Veterans noted that when soldiers feel pride in sacrificing their lives for the country, our people also want quick and harsh punishments for terrorists.
With our present legal system, their trials have tendency to stretch out to unlimited periods or sometimes the investigators fail to provide enough evidence to prove charges, thus losing effectiveness.
They said that military courts do not deny human rights for peace-loving citizens. They also follow the Evidence Act but their trials should not be judged or compared with civil courts. They noted that politicians, bureaucrats, and lawyers have been killed by terrorists while judges and important officials have been receiving death threats.
Members stressed the need to expedite long awaited judicial reforms. There is a need to quicken the pace of trials for terrorism and also heinous crimes which have taken alarming proportions.
Vice Admiral Ahmad Tasnim, Air Marshal Masood Akhtar, Brig Mian Mahmud, Brig Arbi Khan, Brig Simon Sharaf, Col Riaz Jafri, Col Dalel Khan, Maj Farouk Hamid Khan, Maj Muhammad Akram, Capt. Dr Babur Zaheeruddin, Mr Nawaz Ali, and Brig Masud ul Hassan were also present at the meeting.
Meanwhile, VOP held its Annual General Meeting that re-elected the present team for next term.