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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

CJP Bandial assures to stop any unconstitutional moves by the Army

The Chief Justice of Pakistan expressed deep regret over the events that took place on May 9 and emphasized his strong desire to prevent any situation where the army would resort to “unconstitutional steps."

Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial on Thursday said the armed forces would not be allowed to take “unconstitutional steps” as he heard pleas challenging the trial of civilians in military courts.

According to the details, a six-member bench, led by the CJP and comprising Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Yahya Afridi, Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi, and Justice Ayesha Malik, heard the case.

At the outset of today’s hearing, the CJP expressed regret over the May 9 events and stressed that he didn’t want the “army to raise their weapons against the people of Pakistan”.

Read more: Pak Army dismisses high ranking military officers over May 9 riots

He said armed forces should be praised for not opening fire on civilians despite the violence on May 9. “However, the military will not be allowed to take any illegal steps,” he noted.

He then sought assurance from Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) Mansoor Usman Awan that the military trials would not proceed. He responded that the military’s top leadership had assured that it would not.

Violent clashes broke out across Pakistan after the former prime minister and PTI was arrested from the premises of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on May 9.

After the widespread violent riots that occurred on May 9, the government made arrests related to the incidents. In response, the government decided to subject those found guilty of attacking military installations to military court trials, a decision viewed as a controversial move by both the government and the army.

In reaction to this decision, PTI Chairman Imran Khan, Khawaja, legal expert Aitzaz Ahsan, and five civil society members, including Piler Executive Director Karamat Ali, jointly approached the apex court, urging it to declare the military trials as unconstitutional.

Read more: Unmasking Disinformation: The 9 May Attacks and its Impact on Pakistan