Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Military-manned ‘special tribunals’ to try terrorists

* Political parties reach consensus on nineteen-point national ‘plan of action’ to tighten the noose around terrorists and extremists * Nawaz says terrorists’ days are numbered.


December 25, 2014

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in his address to the nation after midnight said that the days of terrorists were numbered in Pakistan and that they would be dealt with a iron hand.

In his televised speech, the prime minister said the terrorist attack on the Peshawar school has changed Pakistan, and that strong action was needed to root out the menace of extremism from society. Nawaz Sharif explained that political parties had reached a consensus on setting up military manned “special tribunals” to deal with terrorism-related cases. He said that the courts will be set up for a term of two years. The prime minister explained other points in the national action plan including the raising of an ant-terrorism task force.

“Peshawar atrocity has changed Pakistan, we need to eradicate the mindset of terrorism to defeat extremism and sectarianism,” he said. “This horrendous attack has shaken the nation...the terrorists struck the future of this country, when they murdered those children,” PM Nawaz said. In his speech Nawaz Sharif explained that political parties had reached a consensus on how to defeat terrorism. He said that as a father he can realise how painful it must have been for all the parents and families who lost their loved ones in the Peshawar massacre. “Innocent children’s cry is still echoing in my ears”, he said.

He read a 19-point declaration containing a “plan of action” to fight the terrorism.

Under the plan, executions of convicted terrorists have resumed. Special trial courts are being established under military supervision, these special courts’ tenure will be 2 years. Armed struggle and militant groups will have no place anywhere in Pakistan. Anti-terrorism institute NACTA is being revived and will soon be functioning. Literature promoting violence, sectarianism and extremism will be curbed. Funding sources of terrorists and terror outfits will completely be shutdown. Banned outfits will not have permission to work under alias. Decision to form special anti-terrorism force has been taken. Protection of religious minorities is being ensured to stop religious extremism.

Registrations and regulation of religious institutions are being arranged. Promotion of terrorists and their messages will completely be banned from print and electronic media. Immediate return of IDPs will be deemed priority, administration arrangements in FATA are being speeded up. Social and communication networks of terrorists will eliminated fully. Immediate steps are being taken to prevent propagation of terrorist message on internet and social media. No space for terrorists including areas in Punjab will be available to terrorists. The ongoing operation in Karachi will be completed. Government of Balochistan is being given full autonomy by all stakeholders keeping in view the political reconciliation. . Decisive action is being taken against the elements behind sectarianism. A comprehensive policy about Afghan refugees is being formed.

Political parties had on late Wednesday reached a consensus over the issue of setting up military courts for tackling terrorism cases in the country. The agreement was reached during a meeting of parliamentary leaders at the Prime Minister House in Islamabad. The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), which earlier expressed reservations, agreed on the setting up of military tribunals. The Awami National Party (ANP), Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam – Fazl (JUI-F) have also reportedly supported the move. “This is historic occasion for our nation,” Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said at the concluding session. “Our resolve to fight terror is a strong message for those who want to destroy Pakistan. Time for half baked decisions is over,” the prime minister said.

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