Peshawar: The parents of students killed in the December 2014 terror attack on a school in Pakistan’s Peshawar city have hailed the Supreme Court’s verdict favouring the establishment of military courts.
The parents said that the historic decision is the outcome of the sacrifices rendered by their innocent children, the students of Army Public School in Peshawar, who were killed by terrorists on December 16, 2014, Dawn reported on Thursday.
The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Wednesday rejected all applications challenging the constitutional amendments, ruling in favour of the establishment of military courts in the country.
However, the parents also said that their children would not have been killed if the government had taken timely action against terrorists.
They demanded from the government and Pakistan Army to share with them and the people of the country the details of crimes committed by those being tried in the military courts and the nature of punishment awarded to them.
“Such military courts should have been established 10 years ago for awarding an exemplary punishment to terrorists,” said Ajoon Khan, who is the general secretary of Ghazi Shuhada Forum, an association of the parents of victim students of APS Peshawar.
“The military courts would conduct speedy trial of the militants,” said Khan, adding: “The trial of terrorists in military courts should not be kept secret rather every details should be shared with masses, particularly with the parents, for maintaining transparency.”
Iranian President Hassan Rohani and visiting Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan have agreed to set up a joint border “reaction force” to counter terrorism, Iranian state media reported.
“We agreed to create a joint rapid reaction force at the borders for combatting terrorism,” Rohani was quoted as saying on April 22 during a joint press conference with Khan, who was officially welcomed in the Iranian capital earlier in the day.
The announcement comes following tensions between the two countries who have in recent months accused each other of not doing enough to stamp out militants allegedly sheltering across the border.
“Pakistan will not allow any militant group to operate” from its soil, Khan said at the press conference while adding that the problem of terrorism was “increasing differences” between both countries.
“So it was very important for me to come here and come with our security chief that we resolve this issue,” Khan said.
Citing a militant attack on Pakistani security forces in Baluchistan on April 18, he said, Pakistan’s security chief will be meeting his Iranian counterpart on April 22 to discuss how both countries can cooperate in not allowing their soil to be used by militant groups.
Stressing that “no third country” could harm Iran-Pakistan ties, an apparent reference to the United States, Rohani said Tehran was ready to boost trade and business ties with Islamabad.
For his part, Khan said his visit to Tehran aimed to “find ways to increase trade and cooperation…in energy and other areas,” noting that two-way trade was “very limited.”
Khan arrived in Iran on April 21 on his first official visit to the Islamic republic for talks set to focus on strengthening bilateral ties, “fighting terrorism, and safeguarding borders,” Iranian state media reported.
The two countries have in recent months accused each other of not doing enough to stamp out militants allegedly sheltering across the border.
The two-day trip started with a stopover in the holy city of Mashhad, where Khan visited the shrine of Imam Reza, who is revered by Shi’ite Muslims.
The visit comes a day after Pakistan asked Iran to take action against terrorist groups believed to be behind the killing of 14 Pakistani soldiers earlier this month.
Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said on April 20 that 15 gunmen wearing military uniforms ambushed a bus in southwestern Balochistan Province on April 18, killing 14 Pakistani Army personnel.
Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry said in a letter to the Iranian government that the assailants came from an alliance of three Baluch terrorist organizations based in Iran.
Qureshi told reporters that Khan would take up the matter with Iranian authorities.
Earlier this year, Iran called on Pakistan to take action against a militant group behind a deadly attack on the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).