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Senate postpones vote on military courts bill

ISLAMABAD: The Senate on Wednesday passed the Pakistan Army (Amendment Bill) 2017, but deferred voting on the military courts legislation until next week, ARY News reported.

The, Twenty Eight Amendment bill 2017, that stipulates extension of military courts for another two years will now be taken up next week.

Under the bill, a suspect will be entitled to information regarding charges against him and appoint a lawyer of his choice.

Arrested suspects will be presented before the court within 24 hours and a charge sheet will be submitted. Moreover, the law of evidence 1984 will be implemented during the court proceedings.

The new bill regards misuse of religion and faith as terrorism.

According to the amended bill a parliamentary committee will monitor the military courts’ affairs.

Senator Maulana Ata ur Rehman suggested some amendments in the bill, during legislation, which were rejected by the house.

It is pertinent to mention that National Assembly had overwhelmingly passed the bill on Tuesday.

The two year tenure of military courts came to an end on January 7, 2017. After a series of terror attacks in the country particularly after Sehwan shrine blast sparked debate over revival of military courts among policy makers.

Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) had its concerns and reservations on extension of military courts and the party proposed its nine recommendations over extension of these courts.

On the assembly floor on Tuesday, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar while winding up the debate said that the government in consensus with all the parliamentary parties has decided to revive these courts.

He said fifteen meetings of the parliamentary leaders and five meetings of the technical committee were held in this regard. It was agreed to revive the military courts for the next two years. He said the Parliamentary Committee on National Security that was constituted after the incident of Abbottabad, will also be revived through a resolution and it will oversight the functioning of the military courts.



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