Women’s Action Forum (WAF) rejects the formation of military courts as it is against the concept of democracy and violates the framework of separation of powers. It is not just an intrusion; it is the confiscation of the civilian judicial sphere. WAF rejects the military courts on the same principle that it opposes all parallel judicial apparatuses including, Anti-Terrorist Courts, Jirga and the Federal Shariah Court as unconstitutional and anti-democratic.

WAF objects to all expedient quick-fixes such as the death penalty. WAF also opposes any measures by which the military establishment takes over civilian spaces. WAF insists that political parties pay urgent attention to the ‘unintended consequences’ that will be the legacies of these military courts and refuse to legislate these anti-democratic steps. WAF demands accountability and check on all independent pillars of the State and insists they deal with their specific and limited responsibilities. WAF calls upon the government to ensure effective and rigorous witness protection measures put in place, especially for terrorism cases as well as guarantee anonymity for judges who are hearing such cases. WAF demands that the government and counter-terrorism forces focus and immediately crack down on the sources of funding and supply of arms that have sustained terrorism in Pakistan and taken so many precious lives and created havoc for all of us.

AFIYA ZIA,

Karachi, December 31.