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January 1, 2015

Army Act, not Constitution, being amended to try terrorists


January 1, 2015

ISLAMABAD: The government and political parties on Wednesday reached consensus on amending Army Act 1952 for the trial of hardcore terrorists rather than amending the Constitution for this purpose.
The consensus reached in a meeting of the committee, formed to give legal cover for the establishing military courts, was held here Wednesday which was attended by Attorney General Salman Aslam Butt, Finance Minister senator Ishaq Dar, Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal, Opposition Leader in the Senate Aitzaz Ahsan, PML-Q secretary General Mushahid Hussain Sayed and ANP’sAfrasiab Khattak.
Hamid Khan of PTI and Senator Barrister Farogh Nasim of the MQM did not attend the meeting, but they had given the mandate to participants of the meeting.Following the consensus emerged between the government and political parties, it is expected that the piece of legislations would be presented in the upcoming session of the National Assembly commencing today (Thursday).
According to sources, it was decided to widen the scope of Army Act 1952 and now the hardcore terrorists would be tried under the Army Act 1952 besides civilians and military officials. Sources said under the proposed amendment to the Army Act 1952.
Sources said persons who financially aid and abates the terrorists would also be tried under the amended Army Act 1952 besides hardcore terrorists.The sources said Aitzaz Ahsan presented his draft for amending the Army Act 1952 while the government shared its draft and after debate it was decided to amend the Army Act 1952 and not the Constitution to pave the way for establishment of the military courts.The government was already facing a resistance from the political parties, including PPP, ANP, MQM and PTI on proposed constitutional amendment for establishing military courts.

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