Senate approves revival of military courts


ISLAMABAD: The Senate on Tuesday adopted the 28th Amendment Bill 2017 allowing the extension of military courts for another two years.

All the parties, except for the government ally PkMAP voted in favour of the bill. The JUI-F opted to abstain from voting.

Seventy eight senators voted for the bill while three voted against it.

The bill, which was moved on March 10 by Law Minister Zahid Hamid, demands the implementation of the law of evidence during the proceedings.

It also asks for suspects to be brought to court within 24 hours and be entitled to have a lawyer of their choice.

Earlier on March 10, the Senate passed the Pakistan Army (Amendment) Bill 2017 but postponed voting on the 28th Amendment Bill 2017 to March 28.

Four additions have been made in the previously passed Pakistan Army Act 2015.

Maulana Attaur Rehman of JUI-F opposed the bill, saying “terrorism should not be linked with any religion, group or sect”. His objection was rejected by a majority of the Senate.

The 28th Amendment has already been passed by the National Assembly when 255 NA members voted in favour while only four voted against the bill on March 21.