Consensus reached to revive military courts


Sophia Siddiqui


The deadlock between PPP and the government on the revival of military courts has ended after consensus developed as a result of more than ten meetings. The dialogue on the revival of military courts began after recent wave of terrorism which claimed lives of over hundred people in suicide blasts in all the four provinces.
On Thursday the political parties agreed to revive military courts for two years.
The meeting of parliamentary parties was chaired by Speaker National Assembly Ayaz Sadiq in his chamber.
The agreement was reached on four out of nine points presented by PPP, said Ayaz Sadiq. These points were presented by co-chairman of Pakistan Peoples Party, Asif Ali Zardari in a press conference in Islamabad later this month.
The Speaker added that the draft bill regarding extending military courts for two years will be tabled in the national Aseembly on Monday to get it passed unanimously with the consultation all the political parties. The bill will be tabled in the upper house after it gets nod from the lower house. He stated a national security committee comprising National Assembly and Senate leaders will be formed to oversee military courts as well as other matters related to curbing terrorism in the country. All the political parties have agreed to further amend the constitution to revive military courts for two years, said Finance Minister Ishaq Dar.
Senator Aitzaz Ahsan, who was heading a four-member PPP team, said four of the nine recommendations proposed by his party will be incorporated in the draft bill to revive military courts. “Pakistan is in a state of war. The enemy is attacking from everywhere,” the senator said.
Shah Mehmood Qureshi of PTI said that all the political forces of the country have shown flexibility to extend military courts’ term. He said spirit of the consensus is that any particular religious community will not be targeted.
The military courts were established in January 2015 after a terrorist attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar in December 2014 to try civilians charged with terrorism. The courts have been non-functional since Jan 7 this year after the expiry of the two-year term.

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