Now that the ‘hybrid regime- Imran Khan’ project has crumbled, the bruised military establishment is reacting with anger. The government of the day is backing the deep state hoping this will help in their future electoral victory if PTI is weakened and Imran Khan out of politics.
Pakistan was founded as a democracy, it has a constitution that grants civilian supremacy, and it is incumbent upon the state to ensure that citizens are treated as per civil law, not the diktats of the army. Using military courts to punish rioters is stepping into dangerous territory. As an editorial in Dawn notes, “disturbing questions about trying civilians in military courts, as well as the continued crackdown on the party and its supporters, remain.”
Further, “when a civilian government is in power, and the laws of the land are adequate to punish the rioters, the need to reactivate military courts does not arise. Civilian laws should be supreme and all those accused of indulging in violence on May 9 and later, need to be tried in regular courts.”
As the Dawn editorial warned, all those “gleefully supporting the anti-PTI campaign should not forget that in future, if they ever dare to disagree with the establishment, they may also face similar treatment, or worse.”