The Supreme Court of Pakistan is considering petitions challenging the military trials of civilians after violent protests in the country. A five-member bench, headed by Justice Ijazul Ahsan, reserved the verdict on the case. Former Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial retired, reducing the bench from six to five judges. On Sunday, nine accused suspects facing military trials requested the early conclusion of their cases. They expressed confidence in the military authorities to provide justice. After violent attacks on military installations in May, 102 people were taken into custody. Attorney General Mansoor Usman Awan argued that military trials fulfill the requirements of criminal courts and a constitutional amendment is not necessary. He stated that the verdicts issued by military courts will provide reasoning. The AGP also mentioned that trials concerning attacks on restricted areas can go to military courts. The requirements for a fair trial under Article 10-A of the Constitution will be fulfilled, and appeals against the verdicts can be filed in higher courts. The Supreme Court asked about previous trials and whether the accused were civilians, foreigners, or terrorists. The AGP responded that both nationals and foreigners were tried in the past. The hearing of the case had been put off indefinitely in August. Former CJP Jawwad S. Khawaja and others have filed petitions on the matter.
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