Saturday, December 17, 2016

Will Pakistan renew the 21st Amendment?

Under the 2015 constitutional amendment, military courts may try civilians. Dawn's report on the state of play is uninformative:
The legal cover was given under the 21st Constitution Amendment Bill and the Pakistan Army (Amendment) Bill 2015 having a two-year sunset clause on Jan 6 last year which was subsequently accorded an assent by the president. 
Senate Chairman Mian Raza Rabbani at the outset of the proceedings of the house on Friday invited the attention of the government towards the expiry of the 21st amendment on Jan 7. He observed that action was needed to avoid a legal vacuum.
He said the Senate had already passed the anti-terrorism bill and the witness protection bill to fill the gap. The two bills piloted by the leader of the house and the leader of the opposition have already been sent to the National Assembly.
He said the Senate had fulfilled its responsibility and it was now for the National Assembly to pass the bills. Leader of the House Raja Mohammad Zafarul Haq was not present when the remarks were made and the chairman repeated his words when Mr Haq arrived later.
So does this imply there will be an extension or not? 

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