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PM Sharif Announces Finalized Anti-Terrorism Plan

Posted by on Thursday, December 25, 2014, 13:04
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PM Nawaz Sharif

PM Nawaz Sharif

Announcing the counter-terrorism strategy, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said special trial courts will be set up under army officers for a period of two years to curb the menace of terrorism, media reported on Thursday.

Addressing the nation moments after the midnight, he said Pakistan changed after the Peshawar tragedy, adding the government will not allow the blood of innocent martyrs to go in vain.

He said Operation Zarb-e-Azb was kick-started after the negotiations with the terrorists collapsed, adding the operation dealt a heavy blow to terrorists who are bent on unleashing barbaric activities on to innocent citizens.

He said the meeting of all parliamentary parties evolved a consensus on the national action plan against terrorism, adding the points of this strategy are:

1. Implementation on way for the execution of convicts on death row.
2. Special Trial Courts will be constituted under army officers so that the terrorists may not be spared owing to certain loopholes in legal system. These courts will function for two years.
3. No armed outfits or militias will be allowed in the country.
4. NACTA will be reactivated and strengthened.
5. Crackdown will be unleashed against literature promoting hatred, intolerance and extremism.
6. Financial assistance and funding of the terrorists will be wiped out.
7. Proscribed outfits will not be allowed to re-operate with any other name to ensure against their re-emergence.
8. Anti-terrorism Force will be set up.
9. The protection of minorities will be ensured. And, religious extremism and persecution will be staunched by taking effective steps.
10. The religious seminaries will be registered and regularized.
11. Complete ban has been imposed on publicity and glorification of terrorists and their ideology on print and electronic media.
12. The repatriation of the IDPs will be expedited with administrative and development reforms on the way in FATA.
13. Communication networks of terrorist organizations will be dismantled.
14. Tangible actions are being undertaken to stop the promotion of terrorism on social media and internet.
15. Zero-tolerance policy for extremism across Pakistan.
16. Karachi operation will be taken to its logical end.
17. Balochistan government is being fully empowered by all stakeholders for broader political reconciliation.
18. Decisive action is being guaranteed against the elements stoking sectarianism in the country.
19. With the registration of all un-registered illegal refugees, an exhaustive policy is being formulated in connection with Afghan refugees.
20. Fundamental reforms are being expedited to revamp the criminal judicial system in order to strengthen counter-terrorism departments including granting of powers to the provincial CIDs to intercept terrorist communications.

PM remembers innocent martyrs of Peshawar Tragedy

In earlier part of his speech, the premier mentioned the Peshawar tragedy that claimed lives of at least 135 students and nine staff members of an army-run school on December 16.

He remarked, “Six-year-old Khaula was like my daughter that went to school for entry test but never came back home. Huzaifa was my son who left home for school without having breakfast and never came back. Being a father, I really feel that how heavy it must have been for the parents to lift the dead bodies of their small children.”

He said the entire world shares the grief of the bereaved parents, adding the government, as soon as it assumed the helm of the affairs, took the issue of terrorism seriously.

Prime Minister lifts moratorium on death penalties

Hours after the Peshawar massacre on December 16 (Tuesday), Prime Minister Sharif announced on Wednesday an end to the moratorium on the death penalty in terror-related cases.

The assault in the northwestern city of Peshawar is the deadliest ever terror attack in Pakistan and has shocked the nation.

Political and military leaders have vowed in response to wipe out the homegrown Islamist insurgency that has killed thousands of ordinary Pakistanis in recent years.

PM forms NAPC

Soon after the Peshawar tragedy, Prime Minister called an emergency conference of all parliamentary parties to finalize counter-terrorism strategy. For the purpose, National Action Plan Committee was formed under federal interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan. The Committee held marathon brainstorming sessions spanning over ten hours at times.

A working group comprising ten members was also constituted to put forward their proposals in order to form an anti-terrorism plan. The working group suggested, among other proposals, setting up military manned courts for expeditious trials of terror-related cases.

MQM raises objections

Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) was the foremost party that took strong exception to the formation of military courts, terming it as violation of human rights and calling upon  the government to quit power if it cannot manage on its own.

The PPP and the ANP also opposed the idea of military courts. But, the two parties later retracted after it was decided to rename the courts as ‘special tribunals.’

However later, the government convinced MQM to give its backing to military manned ‘special tribunals’ to try hardened terrorists.

JI supports military courts

Asserting that there is no room for military courts in the constitution, Jamaat-e-Islami backed military courts, demanding they should be set up within ambit of the Constitution.

JI leader Farid Paracha said that his party was not against the establishment of military courts, but that should be within the framework of law and constitutions.

UN Asks Pakistan to Reconsider Capital Punishment

The United Nations has called for Pakistan to reconsider executing terror convicts, saying that “the death penalty has no measurable deterrent effect on levels of insurgent and terrorist violence” and “may even be counter-productive”.

“We urge the Government not to succumb to wide-spread calls for revenge,” said UN Human Rights Office spokesperson Rupert Colville, referring to this week’s Taliban school assault — the country’s worst ever terrorist attack.

Pakistan imposed a de facto moratorium on civilian executions in 2008, though hanging remains on the statute book and judges continue to pass the death sentence. Only one person has been executed since then, a soldier convicted by a court martial and hanged in November 2012.

At Least 8000 on Death Row

Rights campaign group Amnesty International estimates that Pakistan has more than 8,000 prisoners on death row, most of whom have exhausted the appeals process. The government says that more than 500 of the death row prisoners were convicted on terror-related charges.

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