NA passes military courts’ extension bill

ISLAMABAD: National Assembly of Pakistan on Tuesday passed the 28th Amendment Bill 2017, which pertains to the revival of military courts for another two years.

According to details, 253 NA members voted in favour while only four voted against the bill.

Taking part in the discussion, Haji Ghulam Ahmad Bilour of ANP supported the bill and said that elimination of terrorist mindset is imperative for eradication of terrorism from the country.

Ijaz-ul-Haq of PML-Z also supported the bill and said that revival of the military courts is need of the country and not that of the security forces. He said that military courts should continue to work till the elimination of terrorism from the country.

Dr Nafisa Shah of PPP said that military courts are working in a number of the democratic countries in the world. She said that we will vote in support of the bill because extraordinary measures are needed to address the menace of terrorism.

Winding up the discussion, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said that after the expiry of the tenure of the military courts on 7th January this year, the government in consensus with all the parliamentary political parties decided to revive it. He said fifteen meetings of Parliamentary Leaders and five meetings of the technical committee were held in this regard. He said it was agreed to revive the tenure of the military courts for next two years.

He said the Parliamentary Committee on National Security that was constituted after the incident of Abbottabad, will also be revived through a resolution and it will oversight the functioning of the military courts.

The Minister said that the decision has been taken because the country is facing extraordinary challenges and the step will help to restore peace in the country.

The bill recommended a two-year extension in the term of military courts. It also demanded implementation of the law of evidence during the proceedings.

The other points of the bill recommended that the suspect should be brought in front of a court within 24 hours and be entitled to have a lawyer of his choice.

The parliamentary parties on Thursday had reached a consensus on establishing military courts in the country for another two years.

Pakistan People’s Party President had earlier put forth a nine-point set of recommendations to the government over the extension in military courts’ tenure.

The party had earlier boycotted the All Parties Conference sessions held on the subject.

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