Former president and the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari on Thursday directed PPP leaders to oppose the extension of military courts.
According to sources, Zardari directed the party to take a hard stance against the military courts during the joint session of National Assembly on January 17.
Zardari instructed that the other opposition parties should also be consulted for election reforms. Sources, while talking to a private news channel, said that PPP co-chairman also held a long meeting with opposition leader Khursheed Shah.
He further directed that Dr Azra Afzal and Ayaz Soomro should submit their resignation upon returning to the country to Speaker National Assembly Ayaz Sadiq.
Azra Afzal is PPP lawmaker from NA-213 Nawabshah, whereas Ayaz Soomro is a PPP MNA from NA-204 Larkana.
Both PPP leaders had presented their resignations to the party after Zardari on December 27 said that he, along with Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, would contest elections and enter the current Parliament.
On January 6 this year, military courts expired. After hearing 274 cases and awarding 161 death sentences in a two-year-long term, special military courts set up to try terrorism suspects in Pakistan have ceased to function, the ISPR announced on Sunday.
A total of 12 convicted terrorists have been executed since January 2015, when the courts were established through a constitutional amendment allowing them to try civilians on terrorism charges.
The constitutional amendment came in response to an attack by Taliban terrorists on the Army Public School in Peshawar that killed 134 children. The amendment included an expiry clause to keep the measure temporary.
The federal government has said it is in consultations for a constitutional amendment to continue with the military courts for a period agreed by all political parties in Parliament.