Foreign media hails Pakistan’s decision on capital punishment
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s decision to lift the moratorium on capital punishment and try the terror suspects in military courts reflects the government’s strong resolve to defeat terrorism and is “an extraordinary move under extraordinary circumstances”, foreign media said on Monday.
The international media in its editorials and articles is highlighting the setting up of military courts as a big blow to the nefarious designs of terrorists, ensuring their speedy trial and punishment.
Khaleej Times in its editorial titled “Pakistan’s military courts” has said that this move has been overwhelmingly welcomed by all sections of society and even a couple of political voices who take an exception at military courts and believe that “there aren’t many options left in this critical hour”.
The Gulf’s leading paper said that Pakistan’s fight against terrorism has entered a crucial phase and it neither has a choice nor the luxury to step aside and ponder over its policies, as it confronted a deadly enemy.
“Now as culprits on death row are hanged and suspects tried, authorities have to ensure that the vigil is not lifted and the security agencies succeed in hauling up all unscrupulous characters without any bias or discrimination,” the paper suggested.
Khaleej Times said that it has to be ensured that wheelers and dealers who have acted as patrons for the extremist elements were also rounded up and a speedy trial was conducted to prosecute them.
The newspaper said that the trend in the judicial fraternity, especially among a section of the lawyers, to plead the cases of potential suspects who had been convicted by lower courts should be discouraged, and should be considered as an anti-state activity.
“Similarly, the petitions filed before the apex court to outlaw parallel courts of justice under military tribunals should also be scrapped by the judiciary, because it is an extraordinary move under extraordinary circumstances,” it added.
It said that the rationale was to dispense speedy justice and not to undermine the judiciary itself and quoted Winston Churchill, the former British prime minister, as saying that if justice is done even in times of war, then society can hope to live on for a new era.
“Pakistan is in similar difficult circumstances today. Until and unless speedy justice is dispensed and the culprits are prosecuted and punished, the tendency to opt for gunrunning and terror tactics will go on. It is the time to crush the root cause of injustice and chaos in society,” the paper added.
Britain’s daily Telegraph also narrated the ending of moratorium on capital punishment and execution of six convicted terrorists as part of the government’s “renewed campaign against terrorist groups”. It mentioned the announcement of new military courts as a step to “fast-track trials of terrorist suspects”.
China Daily, in its published item by Xinhua news agency titled “China Supports Pakistan’s National Anti-Terror Plan”, reported that China lauded Pakistan’s efforts to establish a national counterterrorism plan.
“China firmly supports Pakistan in the implementation of its anti-terrorism strategy in accordance with its own national situation and welcomes its national anti-terror plan,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said.
The article termed “landmark” the meeting of Pakistan’s leaders of main political parties as convened by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, on terrorism measures, including the establishment of special courts to expedite the trials of terror suspects.
“China will continue to provide assistance to Pakistan in its efforts to counterterrorism and safeguard its national security,” Hua said.
The Indian newspaper Times of India wrote about Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s announcement to set up military courts for terror- related cases and highlighted it as part of an “ambitious” anti-terrorism plan.
The leading American newspaper Washington Post in its article said that the Pakistani authorities were “now taking exceptional steps” with a major military operation against the militants and a vow to rein in radical propaganda.
It said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s government and the military had agreed on 20 steps to tackle the terrorist threat and mentioned trying of terrorism suspects in military courts, blocking the use of social media and other forms of communication by terrorists and establishing a 5,000-member paramilitary force to fight militancy.