Military Courts -- Fear and Prejudice
Military courts can wrest back the psychological edge from the terrorists who were taking advantage of the loopholes in Pakistan’s legal system.
The cornerstone of any functional democracy is an effective, reliable and fair legal system which promotes the rule of law. The responsibility to provide this kind of legal service to its citizens rests squarely with the state. Such a system should follow ‘due process of law’ to ensure that no innocent is punished and all possible evidence and circumstances have been factored in before pronouncing a verdict against an accused.
For the aggrieved party, it should also deliver justice in a timely manner in accordance with the well-known legal maxim ‘justice delayed is justice
By Taj M. Khattak denied’. This is not just another English phrase but contains the moral philosophy of human civilization going as far back as 1st century BCE and 2nd century CE when rabbis taught that the sword came into use because of ‘justice delayed and justice denied.’
Across the globe, most nations have finely balanced every citizen’s right to justice in a ‘reasonable timeframe’ with the accused also having the right to justice in accordance with ‘due process of law’. In Pakistan, this fundamental obligation of the state to provide equilibrium in its legal service has fallen well short of popular expectations due to complex but wellknown reasons. For quite some time now, we have been facing a situation where, instead of dispensing justice to all, the due process of law is itself perceived as promoting injustice due to unacceptable delays in trials and few convictions in courts.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif admitted during a debate in the National Assembly that in some instances, cases pertaining to heinous crimes have been pending in the courts for as long as 20 to thirty years. This failure of the state has sadly resulted in a popular perception where our normal legal system equates