ISLAMABAD (AP) -- Pakistani lawmakers have passed legislation allowing military courts to preside over terrorism-related cases.
Both the upper and lower house of the Pakistani parliament approved the proposed changes to the constitution on Tuesday in unanimous votes.
The legislation expires after two years. The change is designed to both speed up the trials of alleged terrorists and protect the process from the intimidation of judges and witnesses that has marred previous trials in civilian courts.
The government has portrayed the military courts as an emergency measure necessary at a time when the country is facing a major terrorist threat.
But critics have questioned whether the legislation gives away too much power to the military while doing nothing to actually improve the civilian courts in the long run.