Bills for military courts to try terrorists in Pakistan parliament

Islamabad: The Pakistani government on Saturday introduced two bills in parliament to set up special military courts for speedy trial of “hardcore” terrorists.

The parliament will also amend the constitution to incorporate tough anti-terror legislation and empower the military courts to try those accused in terrorism-related cases and other heinous crimes, reported Xinhua.

The National Assembly, or the lower house of the Pakistan parliament, suspended the routine business and allowed Information Minister Pervez Rashid to table the two bills.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif also attended the session after he succeeded in winning the support of all opposition parties for the legislation.

The bills come in the wake of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militants massacring 150 people, including 140 school children in a brutal attack on an army-run school in Peshawar Dec 16.

Sharif has said that the special military courts are being established, as there were some lacunae in the existing system.

The military courts will put on trial members of any terrorist group, which uses the name of religion or sect and wages war against Pakistan or attacks the country’s security forces, or any civilian or military organisation in Pakistan, according to the report.

Those who kidnap people for ransom, store or carry explosives, firearms, instruments, suicide jackets or vehicles designed to be used for terrorist acts will also face trial in these courts.

Moreover, a person who receives or provides funding for such illegal activities or does an act to overawe the state or any section of the public or creates terror or insecurity in the country will be punished under this act, according to the draft legislation.

The bills also provide that any person, who is alleged to have abetted, aided or conspired to commit any offence falling under this law, shall be tried under this act.