Army Act Bill presented to Senate

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ISLAMABAD, Mar 22 (APP): Minister for Law & Justice Zahid Hamid on
Wednesday moved the Pakistan Army (Amendment) Bill 2017 to the Senate for continuation of military courts in the country.
Briefing the Upper House on the amendment, the minister said, since
military courts had stopped working on the expiry of previous amendment, a new amendment was required for their continuation in view of fresh wave of terrorism in the country.
He said in earlier amendments passed in Pakistan Army Act in January
2015, there was sunset clause that came to force when the tenure for which the amendment was made, had expired. “Therefore, a fresh amendment is being introduced to reactivate the military courts that had suspended for time being due to sun set clause.”
Pleading in favor of amendment, he said, if we analyze the two years
period of military court, it shows positive results and since the threat still persist, need of military courts is being felt again.
“Since still there is grave threat of terrorism and extra ordinary
situation prevails, therefore, an extra ordinary decision was required,” the minister added.
He said on the expiry of the tenure of military courts, a committee
chaired by Finance Minister was constituted to consult the matter with parliamentary party leaders in the Parliament. This committee and its subsidiary technical committee held 15 meetings and it was agreed that the bill passed in 2015 should be revived with certain amendments.
The new clauses that were agreed to be incorporated included that the
persons arrested on charges of terrorism would be handed over to these courts; they will be charge sheeted within due course of time; will have facility to hire a counsel of their choice and if not, the government will provide them lawyer; and finally the Qanoon-e-Shahadat of 1984 be applied to trial.