ISLAMABAD–The Multi-Party Conference (MPC) on Friday evening concluded with consensus reached on the proposed National Action Plan to counter terrorism in the country in the aftermath of deadly Taliban attack on Peshawar school.
The political and military leadership of the country, after a 5-hour-long meeting, have agreed over the formation of controversial military courts to expedite terrorism related cases.
A draft of the amendment bill in this regard was finalised at the MPC, which is expected to be tabled in the lower house of the Parliament on Saturday.
Federal Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid, speaking to reporters, termed the decisions taken during today’s meeting as ‘historic’. “This day would be remembered in the country’s history,” he said.
He said murderers of innocent women and children cannot be tried under conventional courts of law.
The minister said that Constitution and Army acts would be amended to set up military courts, adding that the Constitutional amendment bill would also be tabled in the Senate on Tuesday.
Rashid praised PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari for playing a “leading role” in reaching consensus over the proposed National Action Plan. He said JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman prayed for the success of NAP at the end of the PM House meeting.
Speaking to the media after conclusion of the MPC, Shah Mehmood Qureshi said despite ‘non-serious’ attitude of the government towards NAP, the Pakistan Thereek-i-Insaf (PTI) leadership showed big heartedness for greater national interest and played its role to evolve national consensus in this regard.
Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq has called a session of the lower house of the Parliament on Saturday, despite it being a holiday.
As political leadership of the country expressed reservations over formation of military courts to expedite the terrorism related cases, Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif during today’s Multi Party Conference (MPC) said that special courts were not desired by the Pakistan Army but they were needed due to extraordinary times.
Chairing the conference at the PM House, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had earlier said there had been adequate debate on the NAP for 15 days.
“There is no room for further debate in the Parliament,” he said, adding that they would have to give final shape to the NAP today and then table the bill in the National Assembly.
Earlier today, opposition and treasury benches demanded of the government and the military leadership to review their policies to counter terrorism during the National Assembly’s sesson.
Commenting on the debate over deadly Taliban attack on Army Public School in Peshawar on December 16, the lawmakers said that there was an urgent need to focus on terrorism while the government should take steps to review the existing laws in this regard.
PML-N MNA Umer Ayub Khan said that the government should take steps to bring reforms in the curriculum to change the narratives regarding the terrorism.
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The 2018 Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) annual conference is scheduled for April 8 to 11 in Boao, Hainan Province. The forum will be themed "An Open and Innovative Asia for a World of Greater Prosperity."
— The Daily Mail - People's Daily