Despite the recent wave of terrorism in the country, the political leadership has yet to evolve a consensus over the extension of military courts, as once again the meeting of the parliamentary parties committee remained inconclusive due to the boycott of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).
The meeting of the parliamentary parties committee in connection with the restoration of military courts was held on Thursday to discuss the ongoing issue of extension of military courts.
The session was attended by all the main parliamentary parties—including Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and JUI-F—whereas PPP boycotted the meeting. The parliamentary leaders expressed concern over PPP’s boycott.
Members of the upper house also attended the meeting for the first time, where they were given a detailed briefing on the issue.
During the meeting, the committee recommended the National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq to contact PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari to ensure their participation in the meeting to be held on Friday (today).
He said that all parliamentary leaders had consensus over the extension of the military courts because it was a need of the hour.
He said he will contact Zardari to end his party’s boycott of the parliamentary committee.
Talking to media, the NA speaker said no political party opposed the formation of the military courts; however, there were a few issues which would be resolved soon.
Ayaz said that he and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) Chief Maulana Fazalur Rehman would contact PPP leadership to ensure its participation in the meeting.
He said that formation of a committee is needed to monitor the performance of the military courts.
Muttahida Quami Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) leader Farooq Sattar said that that National Security Committee (NSC) should be constituted over the issue of military courts.
Sattar said that the committee should be headed by the National Assembly leaders tasked to monitor NAP implementation as well as government performance.
He said that this time around his party would not lend unconditional support, adding that for eliminating terrorism, it is necessary to eradicate the menace of extremism.
He said that the government is taking refuge behind parliament to hide its own failure.
Sattar went on to say that along with federal government, the provincial governments should also be asked about non-implementation of NAP, adding all hurdles in implementation of NAP should be removed.
Fazlur Rehman said that Zardari made contact with him, adding that the PPP wants to call an all-party conference (APC) over the issue of military courts.
It is pertinent to mention here that during Wednesday’s meeting, PPP’s Parliamentary leader Naveed Qamar said the government was not able to hold consensus over matters of military courts and terrorism. He announced that the PPP will not participate in the parliamentary committee for the restoration of military courts, but will call for APC on the issue.
Earlier this week, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar had contacted several political leaders regarding extension in the term of military courts in the country.
In January, Asif Zardari had directed PPP leaders to oppose the extension of military courts.