Military Courts extension bill expected to be introduced in NA today and passed unanimously


ISLAMABAD: The much debated and delayed 28th constitutional amendment Bill and extension in military courts tenure for another two years will be introduced in the National Assembly tomorrow (Monday) by the Law Minister Zahid Hamid.
The main opposition party, PPP which was opposing the bills has moved its amendments for inclusion as agreed by the PML-N government. This followed hectic negotiations between the government and the opposition PPP legal stalwarts during which the government agreed to accommodate the amendments moved by the PPP, JI and JUI(F) . The PPP agreed to withdraw five amendments.
According to the understanding, a national security committee comprising NA, Senate leaders will be formed to oversee military courts.
The ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) last Thursday reached an agreement to extend the military courts for another two-year timeframe to help clamp down on terrorists, their facilitators, abettors and financiers. With PPP’s agreement, the bill is now likely to be passed unanimously. It is pertinent to mention here that other opposition parties, led by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) had already agreed to the draft bill with some changes they had proposed.
The bill is expected to be be approved, hopefully with consensus, on Monday in the National Assembly, after which it will be brought before the Senate on Tuesday.
Military courts had ceased to work on Jan 7, 2017 after a sunset clause included in the legal provisions, under which the tribunals were established, expired. However the new bill will be effective from 7th January so as to give legal cover to the courts from the back date.
Parliamentary Party meeting of PML(N) will be held under the chair of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Islamabad tomorrow before the session starts.
According to Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Political Affair Dr. Asif Kirmani, the Prime Minister will take the party into confidence on the political situation and party matters.
PPP and other opposition parties will also hold separate meeting to discuss the military court bill and other issues to be discussed in the National Assembly and the Senate.—APP

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