ISLAMABAD - After waking up from a deep slumber and addressing the concerns of Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa, the Ministry of Interior has forwarded 29 terrorism-related cases to the military courts after a break of almost 10 months.

The ministry forwarded these cases to the military courts after COAS in a letter written to Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had showed his concerns that the federal government had not sent any terrorism case to the military courts since January this year.

The official sources in the interior ministry informed that soon after the prime minister sought an explanation from the ministry about its low response in dealing with terrorism-related cases for military courts, it hurriedly forwarded 29 cases to the military courts that were already approved by the cabinet.

The COAS in a Demi-Offcial (DO) letter written to the PM had said that though he had no doubts about the government’s seriousness in implementing the National Action Plan (NAP), yet no case had been forwarded to the military courts during the last many years.

Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal through his official Twitter account also said that 29 cases already approved by the cabinet had been sent to the military courts. While another 80 were awaiting approval of the cabinet, he said, adding that after these 80 cases, the ministry has no pending case to be sent to the military courts.

Prior to the referral of 29 cases, the Ministry of Interior had recommended 190 cases to the military courts out of the total 317 cases forwarded by the provincial apex committee to the ministry, says a working paper prepared by the National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA).

In March this year, the parliament had approved the 28th Constitution Amendment Bill (which became the 23rd constitutional amendment after its passage) and Pakistan Army Act (Amendment) Bill to give an extension to the military courts for another period of two years.

In January 2015, the parliament had passed the 21st Constitutional Amendment and Pakistan Army (Amendment) Act to establish military courts for a period of two years to trying suspects for their alleged involvement in terrorism cases.

Military courts were set up on January 7, 2015 following the barbaric terrorist attack on the Army Public Scholl in Peshawar in December 2014. These courts were established under the 20-point National Action Plan (NAP) on Counter Terrorism— a consensus document that was agreed upon all the parliamentary parties.

At that time, the civilian government had promised to revamp the judicial system to strengthen the existing justice system of the country to try terrorists but it failed to fulfil its promise and had to give extension to the military courts for another period of two years.