In the wake of recent terrorist incidents, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has directed authorities concerned to remove the lacunas present in the anti-terrorism laws to ensure that terrorists are punished.
He was addressing an Anti-Terrorism Legislation meeting on Thursday that he had summoned to review the proposed amendments in the anti-terrorism laws.
According to an official statement issued by Prime Minister’s media office, the premier underlined the need to amend the existing laws so that the perpetrators of heinous and inhumane attacks are brought to justice.
“There should be no gap and no loophole in the anti-terrorism laws allowing the terrorists to get away.”
He directed that all necessary amendments should be introduced to make the laws stricter and more transparent since reliable laws were vital to overcoming the menace of terrorism.
“The required amendments must be finalised as soon as possible,” said the prime minister.
A senior official quoted the premier as saying, “The existing laws provide so many ways to a terrorist or a militant to escape. I want them to face their true fate.”
Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan‚ Information Minister Pervaiz Rasheed and Minister for Science and Technology Zahid Hamid among other senior officials attended the meeting.
Although he did not share the draft recommendations, Information Minister Pervaiz Rasheed said that the government is focussing on faster judicial processes, protection of witnesses and judges, and better use of evidence, including forensics.
The final draft of the amendments will be presented to the prime minister on Monday by a five-member team lead by Zahid Hamid.
However, Pakistan Peoples Party’s senior leader Senator Farhatullah Babar, while talking to The Express Tribune, said that even though the development is welcoming, there is still a need to review the government’s policy in dealing with on-ground realities vis-a-vis terrorist activities.
Regarding the formulation of any national policy, Babar said, “Do we recognise that the sole purpose of these armed groups is not only to demolish the government by bullet but also to demolish our very system?”
We need to recognise whether there is a need for course correction or not, he asked.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 4th, 2013.