Low terrorists` convictions worry Pak military

The military has asked the government to see if necessary changes could be made in Pakistan`s laws.

Islamabad: Pakistan`s military authorities have expressed serious concern over what they call the "dismally low rate" of conviction of terrorists by courts across the country, says a leading daily.

The military has asked the government to see if necessary changes could be made in the country`s laws, sources told Dawn.

Top civilian and military leaders recently had a discussion on the increasing number of terrorists "securing easy acquittals from courts", mainly in the absence of adequate evidence, the sources said.

The officials decided that it was time for a complete review of the law of evidence.

Zafarullah Khan, a Supreme Court lawyer, however, said there was no need for amending the law of evidence. It was in practice in several countries and being successfully implemented.

Khan also said it was difficult to find a witness in cases of suicide bombings.

A witness is an "irrefutable part" of the evidence. But witnesses preferred to stay away for fear of reprisals from terrorist outfits involved in the crime, he said.

In many cases, there is always a joint investigation team comprising police and other intelligence agencies. This slows down the probe, he said.

"What is happening at the moment, although police complete their investigation they don`t collect adequate evidence from the court`s point of view. As a result, an accused easily manages to secure a favourable judgement," Khan said.

Police were also not able to provide forensic evidence, which in many cases could be used to convict terrorists. The government should pay special attention to the matter, he said.


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