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Military courts for Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir

13 January, 2015

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ISLAMABAD: During a meeting to review implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP) on Tuesday 13,January,2015, the government decided to extend the scope of military courts to Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

The high-level meeting at the Prime Minister's House in the federal capital approved that Gilgit-Baltistan and AJK Councils would also adopt the 21st Constitutional Amendment as well as the Amendment in the Army Act 1952 to facilitate formation of military courts in those areas.

The premier was also briefed on legislative and administrative measures as well as the progress on sub-committees regarding implementation of the NAP.

The NAP was drafted in the wake of the Peshawar school attack to chalk out a comprehensive strategy to combat terrorism.

As part of the NAP, it was also decided to set up military courts in the country to try terror suspects. Last month, political parties had reached a consensus on the establishment of military courts after several rounds of a multi-party conference which was also attended by the country's military leadership.

In order to provide constitutional cover to the establishment of military courts, the Parliament had then adopted the 21st Constitutional Amendment Bill and the The Pakistan Army Amendment Bill 2015.

Last week, the Pakistan Army had announced the establishment of the first group of nine military courts.

"We are taking all steps necessary to eliminate terrorism from Pakistan's soil," PM Nawaz told the meeting today.

The premier made it clear that there is no room for terrorism or terrorists in the society. He also said that the government is determined not to be at ease until the last terrorist is eliminated from the country.

A PM House spokesman said that officials were informed that since Dec 23, 2014 in Punjab and Islamabad territories, 164 cases have been registered for delivery of hate speech and hate material whereas 157 persons have been arrested. Moreover, 40 printing presses and shops have also been sealed.

The meeting's participants were also apprised that 1,994 cases have been registered, while 1,088 persons have been arrested over the misuse of loudspeakers. The meeting was told that details from provinces, other than Punjab, are still awaited.

Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Attorney General Salman Butt, Secretary Law Barrister Zafarullah, Federal Secretary for Ministry of Interior Shahid Khan and National Counter-Terrorism Authority (Nacta) Coordinator Hamid Ali Khan are attending the meeting.

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