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    Military Courts to Try Perpetrators of May 9 Violence as Approved by Pakistan Cabinet and Top Security Body

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    Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu took charge at block one of the Andhra Pradesh secretariat here on Thursday.

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    Former Pakistani Prime Minister and party chairman Imran Khan’s arrest sparked protests across the country, leading to the burning of military and civilian buildings and vehicles. The violence left ten people dead and thousands injured. Pakistan’s cabinet supported the decision to hold military trials for those involved in the attacks on key army installations. The National Security Committee (NSC) agreed that protesters who vandalized military installations would be tried under the Army Act and the Official Secrets Act. Pakistan’s Army described the day of protests as a “dark day” in the country’s history.

    On May 9th, widespread protests broke out after paramilitary Rangers arrested cricketer-turned-politician Khan from the premises of the Islamabad High Court. Khan has a large following across Pakistan. The protestors vandalized public and state properties and attacked the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi and Lahore Corps Commander’s residence. The violence was followed by a crackdown against the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders and workers.

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    The cabinet approved trying civilians in military courts just days after the NSC and the Corps Commanders’ Conference vowed to bring those behind the violent protests to justice. A cabinet minister, requesting anonymity, stated that no new military courts would be established, saying that the accused would be tried in the “special standing courts” that already work under military action. Renowned lawyer and expert on military-related cases, Colonel (retd) Inamur Rahiem, said that the defence ministry or the chief of army staff (COAS) would have to issue a formal notification for establishing or reviving the special standing courts. Once established, they can work throughout the year in one city or different cities.

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