Pakistan adopts military courts for terror trials

Tuesday, January 06, 2015
Supreme Court building in Islamabad
[PHOTO:Khalid Mahmood/CC BY-SA 3.0]

Islamabad: Pakistan's lower parliament house has approved a constitutional amendment enabling military courts to try civilian terrorism suspects.

The measure, aimed to accelerate the trials of alleged terrorists, passed with a 247-0 vote in the 342-seat National Assembly, clearing the two-thirds majority needed to change the constitution.

Members of two religious parties abstained.

The amendment is expected to be approved by the upper house and president this week. 

It would be in effect for two years.

Pakistan has taken steps to crack down on militants following a Pakistani Taliban attack on a military-run school in Peshawar that killed 142 children and nine staff on December 16.

Rights activists have criticized the government for lifting the suspension on the death penalty and executing terror convicts.

Copyright (c) 2015. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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