The federal government has decided against trying women and underage suspects involved in attacks on civil and military installations during the violent protests in the aftermath of the arrest of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on May 9.
The riots were triggered almost across the country after the PTI chairman’s arrest in the £190 million Al-Qadir Trust case on May 9 which led to the deaths of at least eight people and injured several others, prompting the authorities to arrest thousands of PTI workers.
During the protests, the miscreants attacked the civil and military installations including — Corps Commander’s House (Jinnah House) in Lahore Cantt and the General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi.
The military called May 9 “Black Day” and has decided to try the protesters under the Army Act. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif termed May 9 as the “darkest day in the [country’s] history” and announced to try the suspects in the military courts.
The National Security Committee had also endorsed the decision of the top brass to act against rioters under the Army Act.
On June 23, the federal government informed the Supreme Court that a total of 102 suspects arrested from different parts of the country for their alleged involvement in the May 9 mayhem were in the military’s custody.
Sources privy to the development said that the women and people below the age of 18 involved in attacks on civil and military installations would be tried in civilian courts.
During the proceedings in the military courts, the suspect will have the right to engage a counsel of his choice, the sources added. The accused be allowed to meet their family once a week.
In addition to this, the sources claimed that the government is mulling to try the former prime minister, who was removed from power in April last year, in the military court while some ministers oppose the proposal.__The Nation