Pakistan

Parliamentary leaders except PPP agree over military courts extension

ISLAMABAD: The parliamentary leaders of major political parties with the exception on the Pakistan People’s Party on Tuesday agreed to extend military courts for a period of two years.

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said that a joint session of the parliament will be summoned on March 6 to approve the constitutional amendment bill on the extension in military courts.

Addressing media after the meeting of parliamentary leaders, Dar said he hoped the PPP which did not attend the meeting will reach a consensus by March 4 and attend the session to approve the bill.

He said that extraordinary times called for drastic measures and that military courts were the need of the hour to address the increasing wave of terror in the country.

PPP has called for an all-parties conference in Islamabad on March 4 to to end the impasse over the military courts issue. The party had reservations over the contentious issue including the definition of terrorism.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman Imran Khan on Tuesday said the party will not attend the all-parties conference being convened by the PPP.

Imran Khan said on Twitter that the meeting of parliamentary bodies has agreed over the issue, and the constitutional amendment bill will be tabled in the National Assembly on March 6.

PTI Vice-Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi earlier said that the party had agreed to the military courts extension due to the extraordinary law and order situation prevailing in the country.

He said that a two-year extension had been agreed after which the cases will be transferred to the anti-terrorist courts. He said the party had asked for the agenda of the meeting convened by the PPP.

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