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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Pakistan gives legal cover to anti-militant operations

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, June 23 ,IRNA -- Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari has signed a law to carry out operations in the country’s tribal regions and the northwest against miscreants who are waging war against the state of Pakistan, an official said on Thursday.

The official of the Ministry of States and Frontier Regions (SAFRAN), which deals with tribal regions, said that Pakistan has been facing a critical challenge from miscreants on its Northwestern borders where hundreds of civilians and law enforcement agencies' personnel have lost their lives.

The Regulations 'Action in Aid of Civil Powers - 2011' will provide a legal framework for the armed forces to conduct operations in Kyber Pakhttonkhwa region against the miscreants who are waging war against the state of Pakistan, attacking its infrastructure by raising unlawful private armies and trying to assert unlawful control over the territories of Pakistan.

The Regulations, he noted, permits incapacitating of the miscreants by interning them only during the course of action in aid of civil power operation and thereafter they shall be handed over to the concerned law enforcement agency for bringing them to justice.

He asserted that the Regulations guarantee interned miscreants proper health facilities and a right to meet their families. The Regulations also create an obligation on the armed forces to comply with principles of humanitarian law and meet human rights standards while conducting operations and exercise necessary precautions before using force, failing which the personnel of armed forces shall be made liable to strict disciplinary/criminal penalties.

The official added that Regulations demonstrate improved control of the armed forces by the civilian democratic government which retains the power to withdraw the armed forces by recalling the requisition of the armed forces.

'The Regulations also provide an interim framework for collection and preservation of the evidence against the terrorists and in this sense it shall be supportive of prosecution efforts. The Regulations also create an obligation to carry out extensive de-radicalization program of the detainees and they explicitly prohibit torture,' he opined.

'Miscreants are bent upon the destruction of our schools, hospitals, mosques and employ all means to erode the writ of the Government,' the official said, adding that with a view to meet the challenges of such an extraordinary situation, these regulations have been enacted.

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