Islamabad: Renowned jurist and leader of the Pakistan People’s Party, Aitzaz Ahsan, has taken a significant legal step by filing a petition in the Supreme Court to challenge military trials of civilians accused of vandalism and attacks on military installations on 9 May. Ahsan’s plea urges the court to declare the practice of trying civilians in military courts unconstitutional.

Representing Aitzaz Ahsan, lawyer Salman Akram Raja submitted an application, highlighting that the federal government has merely acted as a rubber stamp for the Corps Commander’s decision to proceed with trials in military courts. The application contends that the federal government’s role in this process should be deemed null and void.

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The petition argues that the trial of civilians violates Sections 2 and 59 of the Army Act and calls for these sections to be struck down. Furthermore, it asserts that Section 94 of the Army Act and the 1970 Rules are inconsistent and should be declared unconstitutional.

The petition specifically requests the annulment of the decisions made by anti-terrorism courts to hand over accused individuals to military authorities, further advocating for the release of civilians currently detained by the military.

Notably, the petition names several high-ranking officials and authorities as respondents, including Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Defense Minister Khawaja Asif, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, Chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan, all five Inspectors General (IGs), Chief Secretaries, and the Ministry of Law and Cabinet Division.

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