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Extra ordinary measures needed to combat militancy and terrorism.

KARACHI -- Country being almost in a state of war needs to take extra ordinary measures to combat terrorism and counter militants, former federal minister for law and human rights, Barrister Shahida Jamil said.

Talking to reporters Wednesday she said there cannot be two opinions about strengthening of police and judiciary as the criminals as well as terrorists have taken quite an advantage of their respective weaknesses.

"Military courts or the special courts manned by military personnel are needed in the given situation yet these must be used as a tool to protect our judiciary," said the senior lawyer.

In reply to a question, she said we cannot create a parallel

judiciary because it is dangerous and also takes years to establish dignity and sanctity of an institution.

Barrister Shahida Jamil said special courts can be constituted in FATA and PATA areas comprising two members from the judiciary and one from Judge Advocate General (JAG) office, with an officer not below the rank of a Brigadier.

"The military court must be a supportive structure for emergence of a strong judicial system in these areas," reiterated the former federal minister and currently a practicing lawyer.

Special military courts, presently proposed to combat militants and terrorists have to be an extension of judiciary focussed on strengthening its deliverable capacities without any sort of compromise or fear, the barrister added.

The senior lawyer said protection of witnesses is also needed to be undertaken specifically in cases against terrorists as present day terrorists are working like a "corporate" and they are no ordinary criminal syndicates.

Barrister Shahida Jamil said this was high time that "we make our judicial system deliverable according to the law and ultimately restore public confidence."

To another question, she said these special courts can be established in FATA and PATA for a specific period and be gradually, as the normalcy is restored, replaced as regular judicial courts.

In reply to a question, the barrister said there has to be a

provision for appellant courts that could be a three or two member bench with two senior high court judges and one Lt. Gen official from JAG.

Provision for special military courts must be without compromising the essential dignity of the judiciary, reiterated the senior lawyer.

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Publication:Balochistan Times (Baluchistan Province, Pakistan)
Date:Jan 1, 2015
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