Pakistan to Establish Courts for Speedy Trial of Terrorism Suspects
15:08 06.01.2015(updated 16:01 06.01.2015)
The National Assembly of Pakistan adopted the 21st Constitutional Amendment and The Pakistan Army (Amendment) Bill 2015. New legislation grants military courts the ability to try civilian terrorism suspects.
MOSCOW, January 6 (Sputnik) – The National Assembly of Pakistan (the lower parliamentary house) approved the 21st Constitutional Amendment and The Pakistan Army (Amendment) Bill 2015 Tuesday granting military courts the ability to try civilian terrorism suspects, the Pakistan Tribune reported.
According to Pakistani media, the 21st Amendment Bill was passed unopposed with 247 legislators voting in favor of the measure and 95 members of the parliament's two religious parties Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) abstaining from voting.
The bill is expected to be approved by the upper house of the Pakistani parliament and President Mamnoon Hussain before the end of the week.
The 21st Amendment Bill allows military courts to try those involved in terrorist activities or insurrections during extraordinary circumstances. The Pakistan Army Act (Amendment) Bill 2015 stipulates that those accused of acts of terrorism will not be able to appeal the military court's ruling. Under the Army Act, the military courts will be set up for two years and annulled after this period.
The new anti-terror measures come weeks after a Pakistani Taliban attack on an army-run public school in Peshawar that claimed 142 lives. A day after the tragedy, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif lifted a six-year moratorium on the death penalty. The government also set a bounty for information leading to the arrest of 615 high-profile militants.
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