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Monday Mar 20, 2017

Military courts extension bill to be tabled in NA today


ISLAMABAD: The 28th constitutional amendment bill for the revival of military courts for another two years will be introduced in National Assembly on Monday.

Political consensus to this effect was reached after intensive consultations among the political parties of the country after the expiry of military courts tenure in January this year.

Among the clauses included in the bill are exercise of law of evidence and a right to lawyer. As per the bill, suspects will be presented before the military courts within 24 hours of their arrest. They will be entitled to information of the charges against them.

Voting on the military courts amendment bill would be held in the National Assembly on Tuesday.

Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar, in a statement issued by the Ministry of Finance on Sunday, stated that amendments to the already tabled Constitutional Amendment Bill and Army Act amendment Bill have been lodged in the National Assembly in the light of the consensus arrived in the parliamentary leaders meeting on Thursday (March 16).

Dar further said that in the said meeting of parliamentary leaders it was also agreed to set up a Parliamentary Committee on National Security with parliamentary leaders of National Assembly and Senate as its members.

Accordingly, a Resolution in this regard will also be moved in the National Assembly on Monday, the Minister said.

Speaking at a press conference together with heads of parliamentary parties last week, Speaker of the National Assembly Ayaz Sadiq said that extension in term of military courts is a national issue and that all parties have agreed on establishment of special courts for a period of two years.

"The bill will be presented in the National Assembly on Monday, where the heads of parliamentary parties will debate on it. After approval from the National Assembly, it will be presented in the Senate," Sadiq said.

"All political parties rose above individual interests to make a decision in national interest," he added.

Additional reporting from APP, PPI

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