'Politically motivated': Khawaja Asif slams those challenging military court trials

Practice of trying civilians in military courts is not new, says defence minister

Federal Defence Minister Khawaja Asif addresses people on eve of Youm e Istehsal to show solidarity with the people of Kashmiri at Constitution Avenue in Islamabad on August 5, 2022. — online
Federal Defence Minister Khawaja Asif addresses people on eve of "Youm e Istehsal" to show solidarity with the people of Kashmiri at Constitution Avenue in Islamabad on August 5, 2022. — online 

  • Military courts convicted 25 civilians during PTI regime, says Asif.
  • Minister says, should not compromise dignity for political gains.
  • Asif highlights importance of respecting institutions' boundaries.


ISLAMABAD: Commenting on the petitions filed in the Supreme Court against the trial of civilians in military courts, Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif said Thursday that there were "political motives" behind the move.

Addressing the National Assembly, the defence minister criticised those who approached the apex court challenging the trial of civilians in military courts and said the practice of trying civilians in military courts was not new.

He said military courts convicted 24 to 25 civilians during the previous regime, while the judiciary endorsed cases.

Asif said petitioners should not compromise the country’s dignity for political gains. 

“Security personnel, who are our benefactors, continued to give sacrifices in the ongoing war against terrorism,” he said.

The minister, once again, condemned the May 9 acts in which memorials of martyrs and military installations were attacked and highlighted that political workers were allegedly incited by their leader to assault the state.

He also highlighted the importance of respecting each institution’s boundaries, cautioning against encroachment, and said such acts could lead to a confrontation and hurt the national interests. 

“Parliament will not allow any trespassing on its jurisdiction,” he said.

Condemning May 9 mayhem

Meanwhile, in his address to the NA, Federal Minister Mian Javed Latif said abettors and planners of the May 9 incident should be punished, adding action against them should not be left incomplete. 

“The May 9 incidents exposed their nefarious designs.”

Latif said May 9 had also exposed the misdeeds of those who launched an individual. 

He asked what service was being done in a building adjacent to the Parliament House, saying that a reduction in the size of a bench from nine to seven judges hearing petitions against trial of civilians in military courts would also give birth to a debate like whether it was 4-3 or 3-2 verdict.

Javed Latif said Ali Wazir was detained for 26 months for delivering a speech in the House, questioning why an individual could not be arrested even for 36 hours. 

He regretted that not even a single miscreant involved in May 9 actions had been punished so far.