Draft amendments for trial of militants presented to Sharif

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was on Saturday presented with the first draft of constitutional and legal amendments for trial of hardcore terrorists and enemy combatants as he ordered the activation of a dormant anti-terror body to fight the menace.

PTI| Last Updated: Dec 27, 2014, 18:38 PM IST

Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was on Saturday presented with the first draft of constitutional and legal amendments for trial of hardcore terrorists and enemy combatants as he ordered the activation of a dormant anti-terror body to fight the menace.

The Prime Minister chaired a meeting of the committee to oversee the implementation of the counter-terrorism National Action Plan, which was worked out two days ago with the consensus of mainstream political parties to tackle militancy.

During today's meeting, the first draft of constitutional and legal amendments for the trial of enemy combatants and hardcore terrorists involved in execution, abetting and financing of mass murders was presented to the Prime Minister, Dawn News reported.

The draft was presented by a legal team, along with Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Khawaja Zaheer and Federal Law Secretary Barrister Zafarullah.

Sharif directed the legal team to share the draft with other political parties for their inputs.

"We will legally protect our soldiers in their fight against terrorists," Sharif told the meeting.

The Prime Minister also directed that instances of terrorism or sectarian violence against minorities should also be included in the schedule of offences against terrorists.

"We want to make the country a safer place for every Pakistani regardless of the individual's faith or ethnicity," he said.

Sharif emphasised on seamless coordination between law enforcement agencies as well as among the provincial governments and the federal government to achieve optimum results with regards to the new counter-terrorism National Action Plan within a short period of time.

The National Action Plan has been formed to deal with the menace of terrorism in the wake of Taliban's attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar in which 150 people, mostly children, were killed.

"The government is committed to take all necessary steps to ensure that the blood spilled in the Peshawar school carnage does not go waste," Sharif said.

Sharif also directed that the National Counter Terrorism Authority Pakistan (NACTA) be made functional with immediate effect, Dawn News reported.

Following Sharif's directive, an administrative meeting of the NACTA has been summoned for Wednesday. The meeting will be chaired by Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar and it will review anti-terrorism measures adopted by the government.

NACTA, an anti-terror body answerable directly to the Prime Minister, has largely remained dormant till now.