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ISLAMABAD: The lawmakers from different political parties continued to strongly protest in the upper house of the Parliament on Friday against a “controversial” resolution the Senate passed earlier this week that opposed Supreme Court’s landmark verdict on military courts, abruptly adjourning the house till the coming Monday.

The house proceedings plunged into chaos after the senators demanded of the chairman to be given them floor to share views on the said resolution. Kamran Murtaza from JUI-F raised a point of order on the issue. However, Senate chairman Sanjrani insisted to continue with the house’s business agenda.

This attracted strong backlash from the legislators from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazal (JUI-F), Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), National Party (NP) and Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP).

Arrests over May 9 incidents: ICA challenges SC’s verdict against trial of civilians in military courts

Supporting the JUI-F senator’s point of order, Sadia Abbasi from PML-N said the legislators would not let the house continue with the routine business agenda unless they were allowed to share views on the condemnable resolution against the SC verdict that was passed by the house on Monday.

The senators stood up from their seats and started protesting. They demanded that the said resolution be withdrawn forthwith, before the session was adjourned.

On Tuesday, in the previous Senate session too, the lawmakers strongly protested against the resolution.

“We can never allow the creation of military courts, nor do we support such courts. This house acted in violation of the prescribed rules,” PML-N’s Abbasi said on the floor of the house, then.

She questioned why the resolution was moved in the house in haste, without any prior intimation to the members, when less than a dozen members were present in the house.

On Monday, Sanjrani “quietly” allowed Dilawar Khan, who is not affiliated with any political party, to move the resolution that urged the SC to reconsider its verdict on certain provisions of the Army Act wherein the apex court declared the military courts as unconstitutional.

With only less than a dozen members present at the time when this resolution was moved, the document was passed. This has invited strong criticism from public and political circles.

On October 23, in a landmark verdict, a five-member SC bench declared that trying civilians in military courts for their alleged role in attacks on army installations (against the backdrop of May 9 episode) was in violation of the Constitution.

The apex court’s verdict was widely hailed by public and political circles as well as rights organisations that believe trying civilians in military courts denies them fair trial.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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