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Senate passes Pakistan Army (Amendment) Bill, 2017

Senate passes Pakistan Army (Amendment) Bill, 2017
March 22, 2017

ISLAMABAD (92 News) – The Senate has passed the Pakistan Army (Amendment) Bill, 2017 on Wednesday.

The bill moved by Law Minister Zahid Hamid provides to further amend the Pakistan Army Act, 1952.

The Constitution (Twenty-eighth Amendment) Bill, 2017 was also tabled in the Senate for consideration and passage. The bill was moved by Law Minister Zahid Hamid on Wednesday. The amendment has however been postponed.

The bill has already been passed by the National Assembly.

Speaking on the bill, Law Minister Zahid Hamid said in January, 2015, Pakistan Army Act, 2015 along with 21st Constitution amendment was passed to trial hardcore terrorists in military courts.

He said it was reviewed in January this year that positive results were achieved in fight against war on terror through these amendments. However, he said that terrorism is still a threat to the integrity and security of the country and extraordinary situation is persisting. He said it is imperative to extend special measures adopted earlier. He said four additions have been made in the previously passed Pakistan Army Act, 2015.

Opposing the bill, Maulana Attaur Rehman of JUI-F said terrorism should not be linked with any religion, group or sect. He said Islam has nothing to do with terrorism and mosques and seminaries should not be bracketed with militancy.

Dr Jehanzeb Jamaldini of BNP-M opposed the bill and said that the powers should be rested with the democratic system instead of shifting them to institutions subservient to the Parliament.
Muhammad Usman Khan Kakar of PkMAP said that supremacy of the Parliament and the democracy should not be compromised by bringing such amendments.

Mian Muhammad Ateeq Shaikh of MQM supported the bill and said that fight against terrorism has become imperative for the survival of country and future generations.

Mir Kabir Ahmad Muhammad Shahi of NP said that his party supports the bill as a bitter pill to swallow to eradicate the menace of terrorism from the country.

Muhammad Azam Khan of PTI supported the bill and said that judicial reforms should be ensured in the two-year period to be extended for military courts. He said steps should also be taken to end militancy as well as economic terrorism.

Sherry Rehman of PPP supported the bill and said that decision to extend the military courts for another two years has been taken after extensive consultations among the political parties. She said there would have been no need of extension of military courts had there been judicial reforms.

Saeedul Hassan Mandokhel also supported the bill and said that the decision has been taken in view of country's resolve to defeat terrorism.