Post-Peshawar attack, Pak sets up 3 special courts to hear terrorism cases

Islamabad, Jan 1: The Pakistani government today set up three out of five special courts to try terror suspects, days after it lifted the moratorium on executions after the Taliban school massacre.

The three courts have been formed in Peshawar, Lahore and Quetta in accordance with the Protection of Pakistan Act passed by the Parliament in order to curb rising militancy in the country, the Dawn reported.

Pak sets up three special courts to hear terrorism cases

Judge Mukarrab Khan will head the special court in Lahore whereas Judge Zafar Khosa and Judge Anwar Ali Khan will preside over the courts in Quetta and Peshawar respectively.

Five special courts are to be formed in total. Sindh is also scheduled to get special courts but these are yet to be established, it said.

The latest measures come days after the country's political leadership agreed to establish military courts in order to try terror suspects in what appeared to be a bypassing of the superior judiciary and the Supreme Court's 1999 verdict which had declared such tribunals as unconstitutional, the report said.

Military courts have become a subject of controversy with certain political parties expressing reservations on their proposed establishment.

After the Peshawar tragedy last month in which 150 people, mostly children, were killed in a Taliban attack on an army public school, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had vowed to establish military courts to try suspected terrorists. Speaking in the Senate yesterday, Sharif said he was determined to go ahead with the option of military courts even though he too had "a lurking suspicion that one day" he may have to face "such a forum".

"The opponents of military courts talk about my arrest by the same courts may be in future. But let me tell them how can I forget the innocent blood of the children... This is on my mind and not my possible arrest (by the military courts) as some talk about it," he said. 


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