ISLAMABAD: The federal government has decided not to re-enact the Protection of Pakistan Ordinance (Popa) which expired on July 15, highly reliable sources said.
The ordinance was originally promulgated to vest the law enforcement agencies with special powers and also gave protection to the witnesses besides accepting evidence that was previously inadmissible in the court under the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).
“The ordinance has expired and there is no plan to revive it,” said a senior government official on the condition of anonymity. The government, according to the official, is considering introducing a special judicial structure at the federal level to specifically deal with terror related cases.
“A new federal judicial system, headed by the Attorney General for Pakistan, is being worksed out with elite investigators, prosecutors and judges who will be appointed with due consultations with the provinces and chief justices of the high courts,” he said.
Under this judicial system, a separate prison will also be constructed in Islamabad to house all the terror suspects from all over the country. “The military court cases will be shifted to these new courts. These will be purpose built and will have a very high security facility,” he added.
The appeal against these cases will be made at the Supreme Court –much like the appeal against military court verdicts.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 31st, 2016.