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PTI warns PML-N, PPP not to create hurdles in military courts' extension.

ISLAMABAD -- Four days after the military courts ceased to function, the ruling PTI on Wednesday warned the two major opposition parties not to 'become hurdle in the extension of these courts set up under the National Action Plan (NAP)'.

In a statement, PTI Central Secretary Information Umar Sarfraz Cheema asked the PML-N and PPP not to oppose extension to military courts. 'This is because these were established under the National Action Plan (NAP) to counter terrorism,' he said.

Cheema said: 'Opposing military courts is tantamount to creating obstacles in implementation of the NAP. 'I warn opposition not to become hurdle in the implementation of NAP,' he said.

The PTI leader said both major opposition parties in the parliament were adopting non-serious approach towards issues of national interest.

'Their seriousness is apparent from the fact that they boycott the government's meetings on important issues,' he said and urged the opposition should come up with a concrete plan, if they have any.

He claimed that both the parties failed to introduce judicial reforms for speedy disposal of cases in their respective regimes.

The two-year extension given to the military courts to try terrorists expired on Saturday (March 30).

The government in principle has decided to give another extension to these 'speedy courts' though PPP opposed it.

The ruling PTI needs to get pass a constitutional amendment from the parliament to give an extension to these courts. However, it is struggling to get support of the opposition as it has not two-third majority in the parliament required to amend the constitution.

The PML-N and the PPP have recently refused to participate in the meeting invited by the government to brief all parliamentary parties on implementation of NAP. The briefing scheduled on March 28 was actually called to create a consensus on the extension of military courts. Consequently, the government had to cancel the meeting.

Last month, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi had sent invitation letters to the heads of all parliamentary parties to attend a briefing on speedy implementation of the NAP.

Both the PML-N and the PPP argued that this briefing should be given to the parliament instead in a meeting of selected leaders.

The PPP also said that the government was not serious in the implementation of NAP as it already suggested to it to convene an in-camera joint sitting of parliament for briefing on NAP and military courts.

Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F), another

opposition party, had also refused to participate in it.

The military courts were established in the country in January 2015 for a period of two years following g the deadly terrorist attack on Peshawar's Army Public School on December 16, 2014.

Following the attack, the then parliament had approved the 20-point NAP - a consensus document. The plan also asked for establishment of military courts.

On this, then parliament had given one-time approval to the establishment of military courts through the 21st amendment in the constitution and by amending the Pakistan Army Act 1952 for a period of two years.

Through another constitutional amendment, the parliament had given an extension to the military courts for another two years following they ceased to function in January 2017.

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Publication:The Nation (Karachi, Pakistan)
Date:Apr 4, 2019
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