Senate passes Pakistan Army Act amendment bill


ISLAMABAD Mar 22 (APP): The Senate on Wednesday passed the Pakistan Army (Amendment) Act 2015 bill with a majority vote to give effect to military courts for trying terrorists.
The bill moved to the House by Minister for Law and Justice Zahid Hamid was opposed by three parties including Jamiat Ulema Islam, Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party and Balochistan National Party.
The House also rejected the amendments made by JUI Senator Maulana
Ata-ur-Rehman, however approving the amendments made by the government with a majority vote.
The bill (in sub-clause iii) provides that military courts, established
thereon after this amendment, would be able to try any person claiming or are known to belong to any terrorist group or organization misusing the name of the religion or sect; raise arms or wage war against Pakistan or attack the armed Forces, law enforcement agencies or attack any civil or military installations in Pakistan; abduct any person for ransom or cause death of any person or injury; possess, store, fabricate or transport or use explosives, fire-arms, instruments, articles suicide jackets etc; use or design vehicles for terrorist acts; provide or receive funding from any foreign or local source for illegal activities under this sub-clause; act to overawe the sate or any section of the public or sect or religious minority; and create terror or insecurity in Pakistan or attempt to commit any of the said acts within or outside Pakistan.
These courts shall also try the persons claiming or are known to belong
any terrorist group or organization misusing the name of religion or a sect and raise arms or wage war against Pakistan, commit an offence mentioned above.
This bill further provides (sub-clause iv) that no person accused of an
offence explained in certain clauses of this bill shall be prosecuted without the prior sanction of the federal government while any person arrested shall be presented before the court within stipulated time; he will be provided grounds for arrest within 24 hours of the arrest; will have the provision to hire a counsel of his choice and if he cannot do so, the government will provide the facility of a lawyer; and Qanoon-e-Shahdat would apply to the trial of the accused.
It further explains that no suit, prosecution or other legal proceedings
shall lie against any person in respect of anything which is in good faith done or intended to be done under relevant clauses (sub-clause iii and sub-clause iv) of the bill mentioned above.
This bill also empowers the government to transfer any proceedings in
respect of any person who is accused of any offence falling within the purview of sub clauses mentioned above.
In the overriding effect, the bill states that its provisions shall have
effect notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being and in case there is any conflict between the provisions of this Act and any other law for the time being in force, the provisions of this Act shall prevail to the extent of inconsistency.
After that the members had concluded discussion on the bill and House
had rejected the amendments by the members who had opposed the bill, and had accepted the amendments by the government during the second reading, Chairman Senate Mian Raza Rabbani put the motion to the House in third reading that was adopted with majority vote.