Thursday February 29, 2024

Military courts’ extension: PM forms body on talks with Opposition

January 13, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday formed a committee to hold negotiations with the opposition members pertaining to extension of military courts’ jurisdiction.

The task has been handed over to Defence Minister Pervaiz Khattak and Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi. The committee will present report to the premier after consultation with the opposition. The federal ministers will first held talks with Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and later with Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).

The committee will likely begin the process from next week. The two-year term of the military courts expired on January 6, 2019 however; another extension could not be granted due to the persisting stalemate between government and opposition.

The military courts were initially established under the Constitution (Twenty- First Amendment) Act, 2015, after massacre of schoolchildren in Peshawar on December 16 in 2014 as a part of eradicating the growing tide of militancy and terrorism in the country and for trying terrorists attached with militant outfits using the name of religion or sect. Moreover, on January 2, the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Law and Justice was told that the ministry of law had received a summary from the ministry of interior for giving an extension to the military courts.

Subsequently, the ministry of law referred the summary to the federal cabinet for approval; however, it requires a two-third majority for amendment.