Pakistan President inks bill to set up military courts to try terrorists

Islamabad: A new bill to set up military courts in Pakistan to fast-track terror-related cases came into effect today, weeks after the Peshawar school massacre by the Taliban that killed 150 people, including 134 children.
pakistan president inks bill to set up military...
PTI January 07, 2015 18:10 IST

Islamabad: A new bill to set up military courts in Pakistan to fast-track terror-related cases came into effect today, weeks after the Peshawar school massacre by the Taliban that killed 150 people, including 134 children.  

The bill, passed overwhelmingly by the National Assembly and the Senate yesterday, was today signed by Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain and is aimed at setting up constitutionally protected military courts to try terrorists.  The parliament yesterday passed the 21st Constitutional Amendment Bill of 2015 as well as the Pakistan Army Act 1952 Amendment and both documents needed consent of the president to enter into the statutory books.

Speaking in the Senate, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had defended the government's move to set up the military courts in the aftermath of the Peshawar school massacre by Taliban.  “This bill is about military courts trying hardcore terrorists who kill Pakistanis...this is an important day for Pakistan when the nation decided that terrorists will be taken out from the roots,” he had said.

The President House got the copies of the bills last night from the Parliament's secretariat. Both bills were put on his table in the morning and he signed them immediately.  After the president's signatures, the Law Ministry has notified the official gazette of Pakistan.  Sharif came under pressure after Peshawar School attack, that killed 150 people, to deal with the militants with an iron hand.

The military courts have been set up for two years and no appeal against their punishments will be made to any higher courts.

Right bodies have criticised the new law, expressing fears that it may be misused by authorities.  Sharif has promised that the military court will try only terrorists.

 

 
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