The military courts have not proven themselves to be a success. According to Reuters and local media reports, at least 27 convicts have filed appeals with civilian courts, alleging coercion of confessions and denial of access to lawyers and to evidence used against them. Of the 12 cases that have come before the Supreme Court, the legal arguments have concluded in nine. The court has been hearing the case for the remaining appellants, and is expected to give a verdict on all 12 cases together, possibly in the coming weeks. Lawyers and relatives of 10 convicts contacted by Reuters have all complained of abuse by the military courts while in custody and of serious procedural shortcomings.

The military counts also did not have trained lawyer and the proceedings sounds farcical. Yes, the military is the best institution and has given countless sacrifices for Pakistan, but this does not mean that they can be lawyers and judges. Something must be done to end this parallel system and give the civilian institutions back their powers.

SAMEERA KHAN,

Lahore, July 2.