The Interior Ministry has decided to combine the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) with the Protection of Pakistan Act (PPA) and the new law in this regard has been drafted.
The decision was made in a meeting of the National Assembly's Standing Committee on Interior on Wednesday. After approval by the interior minister, the draft law will be put before parliament.
The draft covers the issue of military courts. Military courts are to expire on January 7 and all under-trial cases will be transferred to the anti-terrorism courts. At present, 120 cases are being heard in military courts, which had received 300 cases overall.
Under the new law, military courts will become permanent and terrorism cases will be sent to them. MQM’s Mujahid Baloch wanted to say something during the meeting but he was stopped by committee chairman Rana Shamim. It led to an altercation between the two.We will continue to monitor developments. One explanation for this turn of events may be that the government thought it would not be able to muster the votes needed to amend the 21st Amendment, but would be able to enact regular legislation.