ISLAMABAD: The federal government has initiated consultations with the political parties for extending the military courts’ term, which ceased operation after the two-year constitutionally mandated period lapsed on Saturday.
Sources said that the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had directed Law Minister Zahid Hamid to hold consultation with political parties for possible extension in the term of the special courts.
They said that the government would try to evolve consensus on the restoring the lapsed courts.
After evolving consensus, the government may bring another constitutional amendment to reinstate the court for a certain period.
On the other hand, sources said that Interior Ministry has decided to merge the Protection of Pakistan Act and Anti-Terrorism Act for enacting a new comprehensive and effective anti-terrorism law.
They added that the draft of the proposed law would be presented to Interior Minister for approval, after which it would be tabled in the Parliament for passage.
The new draft law would have the clause allowing law enforcement agencies to detain accused for 90 days for investigation. As per the draft law, cases can also be referred to military courts.
The military courts were set up through the 21st amendment, which was passed by both houses of parliament on January 6, 2015. Consensus on the courts was reached in an APC convened in the aftermath of the grisly attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar.
The amendment had a sunset clause according to which it was to expire on January 7, 2017. Around 12 military courts were set up for a period of two years for the speedy prosecution of terror suspects.