ISLAMABAD–Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has called a meeting of parliamentary leaders at the Prime Minister House on Friday (tomorrow) 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, who were present there.
Earlier, PPP stalwart and Leader of the Opposition in the Senate Aitzaz Ahsan had categorically stated that he had opposed the idea of amending the constitution for establishing military courts which were mentioned in the document made public after the meeting.
However, today, Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Syed Khurshid Shah refuted that the establishment of military courts was discussed during the Dec 24 meeting.
Shah said that during the meeting, establishment of special courts did come into discussion but not military courts. The political parties were told that special courts would try terrorists and organisations where the terrorists were getting their funding from, he added.
The opposition leader said that the meeting had agreed to form a legal team to keep an eye on the process of the formation and workings of these special courts.
Shah however said that consensus has now been developed on carrying out amendments in the Army Act to pave way for creating special courts.
At present, the army act limits the military’s jurisdiction over civilians to specific cases.
The government’s legal advisers are weighing the option of amending Article 8 (1) and Article 212-A and B of the constitution in order to establish military courts in the country, officials privy to discussions on the issue had told Dawn earlier.
Article 8 is titled ‘Laws inconsistent with or in derogation of Fundamental Rights to be void’, while Article 212 deals with administrative courts and tribunals.
If the amendments are carried out, changes will be made accordingly in the Army Act 1952 to set up special trial courts to try terror suspects. Under the proposed constitutional amendment, the military courts will cease to function after a period of two years.
Dec 16, 2017 0
The 68th Anniversary of the Founding of the People’s Republic of China.
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