National Action Plan: ‘New criminal justice system’ proposed

Experts suggest a ‘national council for prevention of terrorism’ .

Zahid Gishkori/azam Khan December 22, 2014


Anti-terrorism experts on Monday pored over several spanking new proposals including the formation of a “national council for the prevention of terrorism” in the country and introducing a “new criminal justice system” to deal with terrorism-related cases.

These experts represent more than a dozen security and intelligence outfits. On Monday, they presented their recommendations to the National Action Plan Committee (NAPC) who will discuss the proposals on its Tuesday’s (today) meeting.

“We recommended formation of a ‘national council for prevention of terrorism’, ‘new criminal justice system’ and creation of some two dozen new ‘anti-terrorism courts’ for speedy trial of terrorists,” a member of the group, requesting not to be named, told The Express Tribune.

The experts also suggested that the national council in coordination with the National Counter Terrorism Authority should brief the prime minister on terrorism-related issues every week.

To clean up madrassas by reviewing their literature perhaps under fresh legislation was another proposal floated to the NAPC, he added.

Military in its briefing at GHQ proposed the idea to the group on Sunday that it could facilitate the civilian forces to monitor seminaries and mosques, he revealed, adding that clerics should be barred from delivering hate speeches publicly, the military officials suggested to the experts.

The special courts, if the NAPC endorsed the idea, will be formed under the Protection of Pakistan Act, he explained.

According to another member of the experts group, definition of terrorism should be specifically well defined in Anti-Terrorism Laws and Pakistan Protection Ordinance i.e. “what the terrorism is”.

Judges will be given more protection where provincial government will release more funds for judicial system, he further explained.

Another member of the committee revealed that there was a consensus among experts that the operation against militants should be expanded in Karachi. Afghan refugees must be sent to the camps they were registered with and internally displaced persons (IDPs) should also be sent to their homes, he said.

The group in its marathon meetings on Sunday and Monday also proposed that around 3,000 to 4,000 people should be hired to equip NACTA with security experts by releasing around Rs25 billion funds for better intelligence to counter militancy, he added.

Afghanistan will be asked to embrace its nationals living in Pakistan as refugees, another suggestion given by the experts to the committee, he maintained.

A constitutional law expert Ahmer Bilal Soofi said that if the government, under the criminal justice system, feels that the existing option of anti-terrorism courts are not fulfilling the object of restoring public order, “it has the option to consider other options like special courts and even military courts for very selective offences.”

Former IG Police Sindh Afzal Shigri called plans for reforming the ‘criminal justice system’ a “good idea”.

“Definition of ‘terrorism’ and ‘terrorist’ must be specified and special anti-terrorism courts must be given more power where judges assured proper security protection,” he said.

According to an insider, it has been mutually agreed that to take decisive action against the militants first to deal with ‘hard target’ then a ‘soft target’.

The hard target would include targeted-operations, amendments to make the judicial system more vibrant, establishing special court (not military), encircled religious seminaries which are harbouring terrorists, return of IDPs till February and ensure execution of terrorists.

While the soft target will focus on counter extremism including reform in seminaries, change in literature, interfaith harmony, counter the activities of organisations such as Jamaatud-Dawa and others.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 23rd, 2014.


NoProblem! | 6 years ago | Reply

@PakSal: Bro, who cares what is good for The Nation? In past, Islamic clauses were only added to win election or defeat another group to win. Recruit fighters for Afgh-Russia war or justify robbing public for their money. Parliament is run by them who have their "personal & not national" agenda in hand. Besides it's easy to pass Islamic Bills, nobody can raise voice or opinion to discuss before. You won't believe at the peak of bombing & killing by Taliban, unknown parliament members were introducing & getting passed more stricter & irreversible Islamic laws... just to get Counted For "introducing & passing" new laws. Can you believe that?

PakSal | 6 years ago | Reply

@kafirmusafir: So many muslims live in non-Muslim countries the way they want to. There are ones who live like a free soul, have no care about the religion and then there are other ones who do things which even a pious Muslim don't do in a Muslim country including Pakistan. You embrace what you want to embrace. No need for state to impose things on you. Pakistan is country run by ordinary people belonging to different school of thoughts and sects. And there are minorities too. So which Sharia law are you considering? Its best the state keeps the religion out of administration and dispensation of justice. Religion is a personal thing, that's the way it needs to be.

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