Monday, December 19, 2016

To extend or not to extend; that is the question

The Express Tribune has conflicting reports here on whether Pakistan's 21st Amendment military courts will be extended after the current measure expires. Excerpt:
The civilian leadership is not interested in extending the tenure of military courts set up to try terror suspects, sources told The Express Tribune.

According to them, the government will not bring forth a new constitutional amendment to extend the courts’ tenure, which will end on January 7. “The tenure of military courts will not be extended but effective legislation will be put in place to combat anti-state elements,” a senior Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) leader said. He said this new legislation will have provisions to protect judges, witnesses and prosecutors, and to govern jail trials, use of forensic data, etc.
The military establishment is still likely to seek an extension for such courts, some other sources said. They said the army chief may take up this issue during his first meeting with the prime minister over the implementation of the National Action Plan. However, the military may drop the extension demand if the civilian government comes up with any alternative measures to try terrorists, the sources added.

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