President Asif Ali Zardari on the advice of Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and approval of Federal government, promulgated Regulations Action in Aid of Civil Powers – 2011 for FATA and PATA on Thursday which would allow a legal framework for the army to conduct operations in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
A spokesman of States and Frontier Regions Ministry said in Karachi that the regulations would provide a legal framework for the armed forces to be called upon by the federal government and conduct operations in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa against miscreants who are waging war against Pakistan, attacking infrastructure by raising unlawful private armies and trying to assert unlawful control over the territories of Pakistan.
He said regulations permit incapacitating of miscreants by interning them only during duration of action in aid of civil power operation and thereafter they shall be handed over to concerned law enforcement agency for bringing them to justice. Regulations guarantee uinterned miscreants proper health facilities and a right to meet their families.
These will also create an obligation on armed forces to comply with principles of humanitarian law and meet human rights standards while conducting operations and exercise necessary precautions before using force, failing which personnel of armed forces shall be made liable to strict disciplinary, criminal penalties.
Regulations demonstrate improved control of armed forces by the civilian democratic government which retains power to withdraw armed forces by recalling their requisition. They also provide an interim framework for collection, preservation of evidence against terrorists and in that sense it shall be supportive of prosecution efforts. These also create obligation to carry out extensive de-radicalization program of detainees and they explicitly prohibit torture.