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Minister of Interior Rana Sanaullah said on Friday that “33 people involved in May 9 mayhem have been handed over to the military for trials”.

Addressing a press conference, he said the culprits were suspected of attacking army installations during protests that followed the arrest of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan.

The minister underlined that 19 people from Punjab and 14 from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) will be tried in military courts.

“These people trespassed and entered sensitive defence installations, so the question is how did they manage to get there,” Sanaullah said.

Moreover, out of 499 FIRs registered on May 9, only six cases can be tried in military courts.

“A rumour is circulating that all trials will take place in military courts but that is not true. The military will investigate the case but not take cognizance of it. They will see whether the Army Act or the Official Secrets Act is applicable or not.”

According to him, nearly 4,000 people were arrested throughout Pakistan under Anti-Terrorism Act out of which 2,588 were arrested in Punjab alone. Sanaullah underlined that 1,099 people have been arrested from KP.

In other cases, nearly 80% of people have been released on bail.

He cited that “Imran is involved in the politics of hatred and he disrupted whole political landscape of Pakistan”.

“Aided by internal and external powers, he negatively transformed politics through an agenda,” he said.

He also blamed Imran for spreading false narratives regarding his planned assassination.

“If Imran is left unchecked, he can lead the nation towards a disaster,” the minister said.

“The events of May 9 have presented an opportunity to identify and cleanse Imran.”

Some key facts about Pakistan’s military courts

Pakistan’s Army Act of 1952 established military courts primarily to try members of the military or enemies of the state. Civilians can only be tried there under a federal government order.

Civilians accused of offences such as waging war against the armed forces or law enforcement agencies, attacking military installations or inciting mutiny, can be tried at military courts.

Military courts operate under a separate system from the civilian legal system and are run by military officers. The judges are also military personnel and cases are tried at military installations.

Anyone tried under the Army Act has the right to defend themselves and a counsel of their choice.

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kashif May 26, 2023 03:49pm
jimnah house is a classic bait and switch strategy to entrap
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TimeToMovveOn May 27, 2023 12:31am
Just in from the United Nations: "Trying civilians in army courts would violate Pakistan’s obligations under international human rights law." Where are all Pakistan's Kashmir bleeding Human Rights stalwarts who talk about UN charter and principles?
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