ISLAMABAD:(APS)March 22,2017-The Senate has passed The Pakistan Army Act (Amendment) Bill, 2017.
The bill moved by Law Minister Zahid Hamid provides to further amend the Pakistan Army Act, 1952.
Speaking on the bill, Law Minister Zahid Hamid said in January, 2015, Pakistan Army Act, 2015 along with 21st Constitution amendment was passed to try hardcore terrorists in military courts.
He said it was reviewed in January this year that positive results were achieved in the fight against war on terror through these amendments.
The Minister said terrorism 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.
Meanwhile, the Constitution, twenty-eighth Amendment Bill, 2017, was also tabled in the Senate on Wednesday for consideration and passage.
The bill was moved by Law Minister Zahid Hamid.
The bill has already been passed by the National Assembly.
Speaking on the bill, Law Minister Zahid Hamid said that this is the same bill passed by the Senate in 2015 and the only difference is that word ‘using’ has been replaced with ‘misusing’. He said terrorists should not be linked with religion or any sect.
The Minister said that the clauses regarding Navy and Pakistan Air Force have also been removed from the new draft.
Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif also attended the session today.
Opposing the Pakistan Army (Amendment) Bill, 2017, 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.
The members belonging to PML-N, PPP, ANP, and MQM supported the bill while PkMAP opposed the bill.
Those who spoke on the occasion include Muhammad Usman Kakar, Taj Haider, Farhatullah Babar, Ilyas Bilaur, Abdul Qayyum, Ayesha Raza Farooq, Syed Tahir Hussain Mashhadi and Ghaus Muhammad Niazi.
Further proceedings on the bill will be taken up on Tuesday next.
The House has now been adjourned to meet again on Tuesday afternoon at three.