ISLAMABAD:(APS)March 9, 2017-The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) on Thursday rubbished reports that the party had agreed to a two-year extension for military courts during a meeting of parliamentarians in Islamabad.
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar speaking to the media after the meeting had claimed that the PPP agreed to a two-year extension for the controversial judicial system ─ a claim corroborated by Law Minister Zahid Hamid.
Offcial media also reported that political parties had agreed to extend military courts for a term of two years.
The PPP, however, slammed the claims made by the PML-N ministers and denied that any agreement had been reached on the draft legislative proposals prepared by the government for revival of the courts.
The party had earlier pushed for a one-year extension in military courts and had put forward nine recommendations regarding the operations of military courts and how they should be handled moving forward.
“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,” said a statement released by PPP Senator Farhatullah Babar.
In the second session of parliamentary discussions on the issue held today, the PPP sought to push through its recommendations but an agreement could be reached on only two of the PPP’s nine points raised before the session concluded, Dar had said earlier.
He added that the PPP had withdrawn from several of its proposed points.
PPP Central Information Secretary Chaudhry Manzoor said the PPP has not agreed to drop any of its proposed amendments and will move its own amendments. “These rumours have been spread by opponents of the PPP,” he claimed.
The finance minister after the meeting also announced that the constitutional amendment bill for the establishment of the courts would be presented in the National Assembly on Friday, State media reported.
Dar said it had been decided that the government would lay the Constitutional Amendment Bill and Army Act Amendment Bill in the lower house, adding that all parliamentarians have the right to bring their amendments to the house for debate and discussion on legislation.
The PPP’s nine points agreed to include the recommendation that the provisions of the Qanoon-i-Shahadat, 1984 (Law of Evidence) apply to military courts and that the accused be granted the right to appeal.