EU Wishes to Monitor Military Courts preceedings

Written by  Published by:Pakistan Views Thursday, 19 February 2015 11:48

ISLAMABAD: The European Union (EU) has requested Pakistan to allow its observers to sit through the proceedings of military courts that were recently established to swiftly try terror suspects.

The request was made in an effort to ensure free and fair trial of terror suspects after concerns were raised that military courts could compromise the due process of law.

Speaking at a news conference on Wednesday Jean Lambert, Head of South Asia Delegation, confirmed that the 28-member bloc sought access to the proceedings of military courts.

Lambert, who was leading a European Parliament delegation, said the government had informed them that military Act allows presence of observers during the court proceedings.

She hoped the government would implement its decision and permit EU observers during the military trials. The special courts run by military officers were set up as part of the National Action Plan to deal with the growing threat of militancy.

When asked, the EU official  said they discussed the impact of military courts on normal judicial system over the next few years.

Expressing concern over lifting of moratorium on death penalty, the EU delegation made it clear that capital punishment was not linked to granting greater market access to Pakistani products in EU.

She maintained that the EU would closely access the situation and Pakistan’s position that the death penalty would only be confined to people involved in terrorist acts.

The EU parliamentarian also voiced concerns over the Baldia Town Karachi fire incident, saying the tragedy needed to be probed and those responsible must be brought to justice.

The EU delegation also called on Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz. At the delegation level talks, the adviser expressed satisfaction at the upwards trajectory in Pak-EU relations.

He said Pakistan looked forward to enhancing contacts with the European Union. The delegation reiterated the desire of the EU to continue its engagement with Pakistan for mutual benefit.

The adviser briefed the delegation on the situation in the region and Pakistan’s counter terrorism efforts. The delegation applauded Pakistan’s efforts in countering extremism and terrorism. The positive role played by Pakistan in enhancing its relations with Afghanistan was appreciated.

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