ISLAMABAD – The military courts that were established post Army Public School attack in Peshawar are due to expire today at midnight (between Friday & Saturday), allowing Anti-Terrorism Courts to try all terrorism cases against civilian suspects.

In 2015, the supreme court, under the ‘doctrine of necessity’, upheld the 21st amendment to the constitution allowing military courts to be established parallel to the existing civil judiciary for two years.

Interior Minister Chaurdhry Nisar Ali Khan said, “The military courts were set up for two years with the consensus of all the political parties. Any extension in these courts is not being considered.”

Nisar said Anti-Terrorism Courts will take up all such cases after expiry of the military courts after January 07.

Military courts were established in a response to the brutal attack in the Army Public School in Peshawar on December 16, 2014. Just a few weeks after the massacre, the 21st Amendment to the Constitution was passed by both the National Assembly and Senate on January 6, 2015.

The president gave his assent to the amendment on January 7, 2015. The amendment had a self-contained sunset clause, which causes the amendment to expire on January 7, 2017.