Pakistan Parliament Unanimously Approves Military Court System

Military Courts Will Try Civilians Accused of Terrorism

Pakistan’s lower house of parliament, the National Assembly, has unanimously approved the 21st Constitutional Amendment, which will establish military courts to try civilians accused of any terrorism-related offenses.

Though there were no “no” votes a number of parties abstained, and there is considerable concern that the military court system will damage democracy in the long run.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif insisted that the military courts are a special case, and needed to overcome terrorism once and for all. Desperation to give the military more power emerged after the Peshawar school terror attack.

The amendment still needs to pass the Pakistani Senate, though it is widely expected to do so in the next week, as even opponents don’t seem to want to go on record by voting against it.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of