Military Courts: PPP agrees for two-year extension, withdraws all 9 proposals

Part of 131 nooses are displayed in the hall of executions 03 December 2001 at the newly inaugurated Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg in memory for 131 freedom fighters who were executed by the apartheid-era authorities. AFP PHOTO YOAV LEMMER

ISLAMABAD, Mar 9:  The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has withdrawn all its nine proposals and becomes on same page with all other political parties and government to extend military courts for a period of two years, PTI’s Shah Mehmood Qureshi told media today.

According to the details, Pakistan People Party on Monday proposed  a one-year extension in the tenure of military courts that were set up to expedite the country’s war against terrorism, a day after it failed to hammer out consensus on the issue at a multi-party conference.

Speaking at a press conference, PPP leader Asif Ali Zardari said his party would present nine suggestions to the government with regard to the extension of military courts.

He said  session and additional judges should also sit in military courts and the judges should be appointed by chief justice concerned. PPP suggested a suspect will have the right to challenge verdict of a military court  in high court as well as a lawyer to plead his case. He said chief justice should name the judges of military courts.

“We are open to dialogue, if political parties think our suggestions are inappropriate,” he said, adding that the PPP’s nine suggestions would be debated in the parliament before being approved.

The former president of Pakistan said he could not guarantee that the new law wouldn’t be used against politicians. “We can only hope that it will not happen,” he said and went on to say that Dr Asim Hussain was targeted despite the assurances given by the government that politicians would not be victimized.

“People’s Party has always fought against terrorism. We are not opposing military courts rather we intend to present our proposal,” he said.

Zardari said non-state actors are harmful for the country and the PPP is prepared to fight against them.

The PPP leader said there was difference between the notifications issued in Punjab and Sindh regarding powers exercised by the Pakistan Rangers.



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