Expressing wariness: Special courts not a permanent solution, says Qureshi

Published: January 1, 2015
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PTI vice chairman says the party fully backs the govt in the fight against terrorists. PHOTO: AFP

PTI vice chairman says the party fully backs the govt in the fight against terrorists. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Vice Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Wednesday said his party would extend its full support to the government in the war against militants but not when it comes to the constitutional amendment to set up special courts.

“Keeping in view the consensus following the December 16 tragic incident, PTI will extend its support in this war [against terrorism], but as far as the constitutional amendment is concerned, we are not in favour of disturbing the overall scheme of the Constitution,” he said at a news conference in Islamabad.

According to Qureshi, there was a need to make the existing criminal justice system effective. “Sectarian rifts and other tendencies of extremism in society can lead to terrorism in the future,” he said. “So there must be a strong judicial system in place to cope with such situation.”

He added that “we are aware that when terrorists attack the armed forces, innocent citizens and worship places, there is a need to take immediate measures.”

“But we want a permanent solution. The special court option has a sunset clause, which means after two years we will again have to rely on the judiciary.”

The PTI vice chairman said the final decision would be taken after a go-ahead by the legal wizards on the draft for new legislation to set up special courts, presented by the government.

Govt-PTI talks

Qureshi told reporters that a meeting of the PTI’s core committee has been summoned for January 6 to finalise the party’s next plan with regards to its dispute with the government.

“After 21 rounds of talks with the government, we cannot hold more rounds of talks,” he said, contending that the government was using negotiations to buy time and was not serious about resolving the judicial commission issue.

The PTI leader, however, added that the party has not closed its doors for the government.

New power tariff

Speaking at the news conference, PTI’s Asad Umar and Shireen Mazari called the imposition of 5% additional GST on petroleum products ‘daylight robbery’.

Umar also pointed out that the government had already imposed a Rs1.5 per unit equalisation surcharge and a Re0.30 per unit debt surcharge on already burdened consumers. 

Published in The Express Tribune, January 1st,  2015.

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