ISLAMABAD: The parliamentary leaders in the National Assembly from both the side of aisle in the lower house of parliament on Tuesday gave an indication for a conditional consent to the extension in the military courts for the trial of terrorists following the government acceptance of the demand to form the parliament’s oversight committee to review the anti-terrorist laws.
However, the final decision on the question of extension in the military courts is expected to be taken in the next meeting of the parliamentary leaders with Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq on February 16.
The opposition also made a demand to the prime minister for convening the All Parties Conference to make a final decision on providing the extension in the military courts. The meeting of the parliamentary leaders of the National Assembly was held with National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq in the chair as the top officials of the Military Intelligence and JAG branch of GHQ gave a briefing to the meeting on performance of the military courts and gave replies to the opposition questions to remove their concerns and apprehensions on the military courts. During the meeting, the opposition also asked the government to explain its position on its two main allies — Maulana Fazlur Rehman and Mehmood Khan Achakzai — who were not present in the meeting.
The meeting could not finalise the terms and conditions on a question of extension in the military courts due to absence of Maulana Fazlur Rehman and Mehmood Khan Achakzai.
The meeting of the parliamentary leaders also agreed to form parliament’s committee to review all the anti-terrorist lawsand to introduce reforms in these laws. The government will gave detailed roadmap on bringing the reforms in anti-terrorist laws and anti-terrorism strategy.
Talking to newsmen after the meeting, National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq said that the breakthrough was made in Tuesday meeting and next meeting would be held on February 16 to take a final decision on the question of extension in the military courts. “The decision would be taken in the best national interest and it will be accepted by everyone,” he said.
While talking to the newsmen after the meeting, Deputy parliamentary leader of the PTI Shah Mehmood Qureshi claimed that the finance minister and law minister in the meeting accepted the failure of bringing law reforms that were needed.
Shah Mehmood Qureshi said though they were satisfied with the replies given during the meeting yet they would take the decision after the consultation in the meeting. “We will not take any decision on extension in military courts in any pressure or under any influence but in national interest,” he added.
At the same time, he demanded from the prime minister to convene the All Parties Conference in which apolitical and military leadership should be invited to take the consensus decision.
Ijaz Jhakrani of the PPP said the PPP had yet not taken any decision either to support or oppose extension in the military courts and this decision would be taken after making consultation within the party.
Ijazul Haq of PML-Z told the newsmen that the trial of the terrorists only be made in the military courts and the military courts must and in the national interest of the country to combat the terrorism.