December 24, 2014
Pakistani political parties reached an agreement Wednesday to set up a special military tribunal court to handle terrorism cases in the country. The agreement is part of a national action plan to fight terrorism, which comes a week after the deadly attack on a military school in Peshawar that killed 149 people, 133 of them children.
Addressing the nation after midnight, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said his government will set up a rapid response force in an effort to root out terrorists in the entire country.
Below are some of the details that are listed in the action plan, translated from Urdu:
- Immediately after the tragedy in Peshawar, the government decided to enforce executions for terrorists sentenced to death. Implementation on this has begun.
- In the past, criminals involved in heinous acts of terrorism used to evade punishment due to some weaknesses in the legal system. Hence, special trial courts are being established under military officers so that such elements can be dealt with without delay. These courts will exist for two years.
- No armed organization will be allowed to operate.
- The anti-terrorism organization NACTA is being strengthened and activated.
- We will act against literature, newspapers and magazines that are spreading hate, [ideas of] beheading people, sectarianism, extremism and intolerance.
- All sources of funding of terrorists and terrorist organizations will be completely eliminated.
- Banned organizations will not be allowed to operate under another name.
- A special anti-terrorism force will be created.
- Action is being taken to stop religious extremism and to protect religious minorities.
- The registration and regulation of seminaries (madrassas) is being planned.
- There will be a complete ban on airing the views of terrorists and terrorist organizations in the print and electronic media.
- Keeping the return of IDPs as an immediate priority, the pace of FATA’s administrative and development reforms will be sped up.
- Terrorists’ communication networks will be completely dismantled.
- Immediate steps are being taken to stop the spread of terrorism on the Internet and social media.
- There will be no space left for terrorism in areas of Punjab, like in every part of the country.
- The ongoing operation in Karachi will continue until it reaches its goal.
- For broader political consensus, the Balochistan government is being given complete authority by all stakeholders.
- Decisive action is being taken against elements that spread sectarianism.
- A comprehensive policy for Afghan refugees is being developed, as well as the initial stage of registration for them.
- Criminal law reforms are being sped up for provincial intelligence organizations to get access to terrorists’ communication networks and anti-terrorism organizations to be further strengthened. Constitutional amendments and legislation are also being done to make this possible. Constitutional amendments will be made for the courts headed by military officers.