PPP rejects bills tabled by federal govt for revival of military courts
The PPP on Friday rejected two separate bills pertaining to the reinstatement of military courts presented to parliament by the federal government.
The government had tabled the 28th Constitutional Amendment Bill and the Army Act Amendment Bill 2017 for input from all political parties.
On Thursday evening, the PPP had rubbished reports that the party had agreed to a two-year extension for military courts.
“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,” read a statement released by PPP Senator Farhatullah Babar.
Under the Army Act Amendment Bill, special powers adopted by the military to try criminals will be extended for a period of two years.
Cases pending trial in military courts after their two-year tenure is over will be transferred to anti-terrorism courts, the bill states.
According to the bill, those waging war against the state, military installations, military forces, law enforcement agencies, the judiciary, the bureaucracy, and citizens of Pakistan will be tried by military courts.
Speaker National Assembly Ayaz Sadiq had forwarded the draft bills to a committee of parliamentary leaders for deliberation.
“Parliamentary leaders will the finalise the drafts after deliberations and reaching a conclusion,” the speaker said.
If the bill is approved, it will be implemented retrospectively from January 7, 2017.
“Reservations of all parties will be addressed and consensus will be reached,” he added.
PTI stages walk out against Latif’s comments
Representatives of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) walked out of the National Assembly (NA) in protest against lewd comments passed by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) parliamentarian Javed Latif against the family of PTI lawmaker Murad Saeed.
PTI’s protest was joined by the PPP, whose parliamentarians joined the walkout protest.
“The incidents that took place [yesterday] were unfortunate,” PTI’s Arif Alvi said while addressing the NA before the walkout.
Alvi also called for the suspension of Latif’s membership of the assembly and urged female parliamentarians to support the PTI’s stance on the matter.
A day earlier, a scuffle had broken out between Latif and Saeed at the main entrance to the Parliament after a session of the NA.
Footage of the incident showed Saeed attempting to assault Latif as the latter was leaving Parliament premises.
When asked about the reasons behind the scuffle, Saeed claimed that the PML-N parliamentarian had called his leader [Imran Khan] a traitor, which elicited a strong reaction from him.
Addressing the press hours after the scuffle broke out, Latif had worsened tensions between the two parties after he passed slanderous and distasteful remarks about Saeed’s sisters.