The meeting of top civilian and military leaders, which lasted over three hours, was attended by Army Chief General Raheel Sharif, DG ISI General Rizwan Akhtar, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Sardar Mahtab Ahmad Khan, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, and Information Minister Pervez Rashid, among others.
The government has called a meeting of parliamentary leaders at the Prime Minister House on Friday to address concerns that have arisen on the matter of military courts.
The two main opposition parties, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), which had earlier endorsed the move, have since been having second thoughts to the commitments they had made during the December 24 meeting of parliamentary parties and key stakeholders including the military’s top brass.
The government was previously considering making constitutional amendments to introduce courts of military officers.
But sources privy to the meeting told DawnNews today that the government was now considering amending the Protection of Pakistan Act (PPA) 2014 in order to provide legal cover to the special courts.
The sources said that the PPA already includes a section dealing with speedy disposal of terrorism cases by special courts, which could be amended to introduce military officers as judges and the death penalty to convicted terrorists.
Sources said the top leadership was of the opinion that amending the PPA would also enable the government to build a broad consensus with opposition parliamentarians and to address their concerns.
Sources said the top government and military leaders have finalised a legal strategy today to present at the meeting of parliamentary leaders on Friday, where they will be briefed and taken into confidence.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has stated his resolve to go forward with the establishment of military courts come what may.
On Wednesday, Sharif said he was determined to go ahead with the option of military courts even though he too had “a lurking suspicion that one day” he may have to face “such a forum”.
Military courts have become a subject of controversy with some political parties and legal experts expressing reservations on their proposed establishment
Oct 23, 2016 0
Special coverage on China's Two Party Sessions by The Daily Mail - People's Daily