PESHAWAR: Parents of the children martyred in the December 16, 2014 Army Public School (APS) attack on Wednesday demanded that the federal government grant extension in tenure of the military courts, which, they said, have played a positive role in reducing terrorism in the region.
Set up for two years in the wake of the APS attack for swift trial of hardcore terrorists, the military courts have exhausted their tenure and the country’s political leadership is now consulting whether these courts should be given an extension.
“More than 80 per cent of terror activities have been controlled after establishment of military courts and the sacrifices rendered by dozens of schoolchildren in the APS attack,” said mother of Shaheed Asfand, while addressing a press conference at Peshawar Press Club on Wednesday.
Flanked by around 12 other parents, the mother said the military courts have played pivotal role in provision of justice to the people hit by terrorism. The parents said they were representing families of all APS martyrs and were demanding extension in military courts’ tenure on their behalf.
She said the parents felt a sense of satisfaction whenever they heard about punishment being meted out to those involved in the sickening Dec 16 assault. “The military courts were established after the APS attack to punish those behind terror activities in the country and they should continue,” she added.
She said it will be worst injustice with the entire nation if extension is not granted to the courts, adding that the parents of the APS martyrs will never let politicians play politics over blood of their children.
“We don’t need a political leadership which is deciding future of the citizens while sitting in the comforts of their drawing rooms. The APS incident happened due to their negligence,” she said.
Talking to The Express Tribune, mother of another martyred child, Mobeen Shah, praised the former army chief General Raheel Sharif, who, she said, worked tremendously for controlling waves of terrorism, particularly in the K-P.
“Establishment of the military courts in his tenure was one of his biggest achievements,” she said, adding that judges of military courts do not come under pressure from any elements.
However, a couple of other parents told The Express Tribune that they were neither aware of the demand for extension in military courts tenure nor they were contacted by those who addressed the press conference.
“It is not true that those who addressed the press conference were given mandate by all the parents of APS martyrs to make this demand,” said one such parent.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 12th, 2017.