ISLAMABAD–Lawmakers on Tuesday approved two bills in the Parliament to provide constitutional cover to special courts for conducting trials of suspects involved in terrorist activities.
The 21st Constitutional Amendment and Army Act Amendment 2015 were approved by the National Assembly and Senate today.
In the National Assembly the bills were approved unopposed as 247 members voted in favour of the laws.
Following approval in the National Assembly, Senators also approved the amendments which will now be sent to President Mamnoon Hussain to be signed into law.
Members of the Jamaat-e-Islami and Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (Fazl group) abstained from voting over reservations. Lawmakers from the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf were not present in the National Assembly as their resignations are pending with the speaker.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said the decision for extraordinary measures was taken by Pakistan’s elected leadership.
Prime Minister Sharif on the floor of the Senate thanked Asif Ali Zardari, Altaf Hussain, Imran Khan, Chaudhry Shujaat and the entire political leadership of the country for the passage of the bills which would provide constitutional cover to special courts.
The prime minister added that even though JUI-F Maulana Fazlur Rehman did not vote he still stood with the national leadership.
Prior to the 21st Amendment and Army Act Amendment 2015 being approved in the Senate, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said the decision of which cases will be heard by the military courts will be made by the government.
The prime minister went on to say that the actions were not only for all political parties but also for the whole nation which was against all the terrorists.
The PM said that today was a congratulatory day for Pakistan as the nation had decided to act in unison and take action in the form of approval by the NA and now the Senate session to hopefully do the same.
He said that they will not rest till the last terrorist was rooted out and that there was no more hesitancy or hindrance to move forward and take action. Voted against my consciousness, says Rabbani
PPP Senator Raza Rabbani took to the floor of the Senate after the bills had been approved and said he had voted in favour of them against his consciousness.
“I have never been this ashamed.” He added that his vote was that of the party’s which he had fulfilled. “The next course of action will be mine,” Rabbani said.
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