No plans by govt. to extend term of military courts: Pak Interior Minister

Islamabad [Pakistan], Jan. 7 : Pakistan's Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has said that there are no plans by the government to extend the term of military courts as there term expires, adding that the cases will be transferred to anti-terrorism courts.

"Terrorism cases will be referred to anti-terrorism courts. We have no plan to give military courts any extension," the Express Tribune quoted Nisar as saying. The 21st Amendment to the Constitution of Pakistan was passed by both the National Assembly of Pakistan and Senate of Pakistan on January 6, 2015, and received the assent of the President on January 7, 2015.

The decision to amend the Constitution came after the 2014 Peshawar school massacre. The amendment established speedy trial military courts for terrorist offenses, waging war against Pakistan, and acts threatening the security of Pakistan.

The duration of these courts is two years. The government had earlier, at the time of the amendment, promised to revamp the judicial system and introduce new clauses in the existing laws to protect judges, witnesses and prosecutors.

It has been reported that the government is currently working on a new draft law in this regard. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's Special Assistant on Human Rights Barrister Zafarullah Khan said that the interior ministry is dealing with this issue directly and they do not have further details in this regard.

The military courts have sentenced 161 militants to death and handed 116 others jail terms during their two-year tenure.

Source: ANI