Friday, March 10, 2017

No consensus after all

The Express Tribune reports that the government -- contrary to its claims -- has been unable to reach agreement with the Pakistan People's Party on the terms of a measure that would revive the country's military courts. Excerpt:
Convened to accost the main opposition party, the PPP, which had boycotted two previous meetings of parliamentary leaders, the two sides came up with contradictory statements after the huddle, with the PPP announcing that it would be tabling a separate bill on the issue.
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, who represented the government side, purportedly claimed that the PPP had conceded its support to reinstating the military courts, saying it would now support a two-year reinstatement.
On its part, the government agreed to inculcate the provisions of the Qanoon-i-Shahadat-1984 (Law of Evidence) in the draft as proposed by the PPP. His statement, reported by various media outlets, was immediately contradicted by the PPP. 
“[The] Pakistan Peoples Party has not agreed to the draft legislative proposals prepared by the government for the revival of military courts,” the party’s spokesperson Senator Farhatullah Babar said in a statement issued after the meeting. 
“Media reports about the PPP having agreed to the draft legislation are not correct and are contradicted. The PPP totally and roundly rejects any statement purportedly issued by any official agency creating a false and erroneous impression of the PPP having agreed to the draft proposals of the government.”
This explains the existence of diametrically opposed accounts of the current state of play: one side is making things up. News accounts on this subject cannot be accepted at face value.

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