The decision over the revival of military courts has been hanging in uncertainty for quite a while. The government initially floated the idea once the time period for the original courts had lapsed, but upon facing criticism from the opposition, the idea had been dropped – at least from the public’s viewpoint. The notion has still stuck around in the government’s mind, and now with a recent uptick in terror attacks, its seems to have come front and centre on the civilian government’s agenda.

In an effort to break the deadlock over revival of military courts, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar talked to parliamentary leaders of different political parties over the phone on Saturday and stressed the need for a “prompt decision” in the wake of renewed terror attacks in the country. Considering the previous courts were instated in the emotionally charged aftermath of the APS Peshawar attack – and with firm backing by the military – the government senses that this might be the perfect time to get the ball rolling on the military courts again.

For the most part it is right, the current security situation calls for action and reinstating the military courts seems just like one. Anyone resisting the move will be seen as an impediment to national security and the need for “a prompt decision” will make debate rushed and incomplete. If the military throws its weight behind the move, the process will be even simpler.

But having seen the operation of the military courts for two years, the opposition is a little wary, and a three-year extension seems like a long while to parties that fear political prosecution. Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leads the resistance, protesting over how anti-terror laws have been used against it, while others join in on the objection that the government should not revert to the military courts as a quick fix to the flaws in the justice system, and try to fix the system itself. Hence, we are at an impasse.

Reforming the justice system was a failed promise by the government in the last two years, and considering the intensity with which it’s pursuing this revival of the military courts, it is not difficult to assume that the future will hold the same; the government divesting itself of the responsibility to fix the justice system.

Principally, the government should hold firm to its promise, and seek to empower the judiciary instead of running to the military to do its job for them. But with people baying for action, it is hard to see the opposition holding out.