Consensus developed in APC to amend constitution for special courts

ISLAMABAD: All Parties Conference (APC) chaired by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, has reached a consensus to bring amendments in the constitution for the establishment of special courts for speedy trial of the terrorists.

According to the communiqué issued here, the APC has endorsed to bring amendments in the constitution as well as the Army Act. The establishment of special courts will be provided constitutional shield, it said.

It added, “The entire nation stands by the armed forces in fight against terrorism”.

The meeting was attended by the country’s top civilian and military leadership on the anti-terrorism National Action Plan (NAP) and formation of special courts.

In his opening address, Prime Minister Sharif said this was the third meeting in 15 days for a national cause. “Following the Peshawar tragedy everyone was unanimous in saying this was not acceptable.”

The prime minister told those in attendance that special courts will be formed for two years and its results will be beneficial for the entire nation. “The nation’s eyes are focused on this meeting and they want the action plan to become actionable.”

Prime Minister Sharif added that the draft of the action plan had been discussed at all levels for the last 15 days. “It is now time to finalise this draft so the bill can be presented in Parliament today. There should be no room for debate nor should there be any debate when it is tabled.”
Apprising about the outcomes of the meeting, Information Minister Pervaiz Rasheed said the bill for setting up military courts will be presented in the National Assembly on Saturday and the procedure for its approval will begin from Monday.

He said the reservations of JUI-F Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman have been redressed, adding that PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari was also agreed and he played role of a leader in bringing consensus.

Meanwhile, Geo News has received the copy of draft bill, to be presented in the National Assembly tomorrow.

The bill has been named as 21st Amendment and will be enforced soon after its approval from the parliament.

The amendment bill states that Army Act 1952, Pakistan Navy Ordinance 1961, Pakistan Air Force 1953 would also be amended.

Modifications will be introduced in Protection of Pakistan Act 2014, it said and added that no one will be trialed without the consent of the federal government.