Pakistan government to present bill for extension of military courts tomorrow

| Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:20 IST

Islamabad [Pakistan], Mar.9 (ANI):Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has said that the government will present a bill regarding the extension of military courts in Parliament on Friday. Talking to newsmen after the meeting of parliamentary leaders in Islamabad, he said that the opposition Pakistan People's Party has already agreed on revival of military courts for two years. He said any amendment regarding the bill could be made in parliament and all members of the house have the right to bring amendments in the bill. A meeting of parliamentary leaders was held in Islamabad today under the chairmanship of National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, reports Radio Pakistan. Since February 2015, a total of 274 individuals have been convicted in military courts. So far, the army has sentenced 161 individuals to death, 12 of whom have been executed and 113 have been given jail terms (mostly life sentences). There are roughly 11 military courts that have been set up across Pakistan; three in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, three in Punjab, two in Sindh and one in Balochistan. They came into force after the deadly Taliban attack on a Peshawar school in December 2014 that killed more than 150 people, mostly children. The country's powerful military intensified its crackdown on extremists following the Peshawar massacre, as the civilian government introduced a National Action Plan (NAP) that included the creation of the military courts, which were allowed to try civilians on terror charges. Pakistan's parliament and Supreme Court approved the law as an "exceptional" short-term measure, but it was heavily criticized by civil society as "extra-constitutional." (ANI)