Senior lawyer and leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party Hamid Khan has criticised the federal and provincial caretaker governments for appealing the Supreme Court’s ruling that civilians cannot be tried in military court under the Pakistan Army Act of 1952.
At a press conference held today in Lahore, Khan stated that interim governments do not have the authority to challenge a Supreme Court ruling. His comments followed the filing of intra-court appeals against the top court’s October 23 judgement by the caretaker federal and provincial governments of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Balochistan on Friday.
On the same day, the federal government and the ministry of defence filed a petition appealing the decision.
When the Supreme Court ruled that civilian trials in military courts were unconstitutional, the Sindh caretaker government and others petitioned the court to reverse its decision. The Sindh government, however, eventually denied any involvement.
The PTI leader, holding a press conference in Lahore today, labelled the caretaker governments “unconstitutional”, saying that their mandate had expired.
The senior attorney continued by saying that the Constitution is being broken right now. “Caretaker governments cannot interfere in constitutional matters.”
Although the lawyer applauded the Supreme Court’s judgement on military courts, he made sure to point out that the SCBA had filed a case against them. “All lawyers are in favour of the decision given by the SC.”
Choudhary Ishatiaq Ahmad Khan, president of the Lahore High Court Bar Association, praised the judges for their decision to overturn civilian prosecutions in military courts and reaffirmed the lawyers’ support for the supreme court.
He insisted that interim governments promptly withdraw their legal challenges.
Rabia Bajwa, vice president of the Lahore High Court Bar Association, said the Supreme Court’s judgement is in line with the law and the Constitution. She was also upset that the Senate had passed a resolution supporting military tribunals.