21st Constitutional Amendment, amendment in army act to prove vital in establishing peace, harmony: PM

January 06, 2015

      ISLAMABAD, Jan 6 (APP): Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif
on Tuesday said the 21st Constitutional Amendment and the Pakistan
Army Act (Amendment) Bill 2015 will prove vital in establishing
peace and harmony in the country as well as eliminating terrorism
and armed militias from our soil.
      "Under this Bill, the hardcore terrorists and criminals
involved in the killing of our children, women, youth, elderly
people, officers and jawans of army, police and administration would
be tried in the military courts," the Prime Minister said while
speaking in Senate before the passage of the amendments.
      He, however, made it clear that this law had a "sunset clause"
of two years and the decision to send the cases to military courts
would be taken by the government.
      The Prime Minister said it was an auspicious day for the whole
nation, which has decided to root out the "jinn" of terrorism from
the country and that there should be no room for terrorism or
terrorists
in the society.
      He said, "We should have the determination not to be at ease
till the elimination of last terrorist from our country".
      The Prime Minister said the 21st Constitutional Amendment and
the amendment in army act were the need of hour as thousands of
people had lost their lives due to terrorism over the last few
years.
      He said the business activities in the country were badly
affected, and the efforts were being made to revive them.
      "If we could not do it, there was no justification for us to
continue to hold our positions," he remarked.
      The Prime Minister said the credit for finalizing the Bill
goes to all political forces, as they reached the conclusion through
effective consultation and joint efforts.
      He said efforts were also made to address the grievances of
those few parties, who had some reservations on the law, and their
amendments were accommodated in the final Bill, passed by the
National Assembly.
      Giving the background, the Prime Minister recalled that he,
after the heinous act of terrorism in Peshawar on December 16 in
which our children lost their lives, invited the leaders of
parliamentary parties for a meeting in Peshawar on December 17 last.
      The seriousness of all political parties on the issue of
terrorism was evident from their effective participation in the
December 17 APC in Peshawar, he added.
      The Prime Minister said during that meeting seven days were
given for the finalization of National Anti-Terrorism Plan, which
was later presented in December 24 APC at PM House, adding, the 20-
point agenda was aimed at giving legal cover to ensure lasting peace
in the country.
      He said then a parliamentary committee comprising all
political parties was constituted to finalize the draft for
Constitutional Amendment and the amendment in Army Act, which was
also assisted by the Attorney General.
      Besides the contribution of political parties and their
leaders, the Prime Minister said, army also gave their input during
the process, as Army Chief and other senior officers attended the
important APC meetings.
      He thanked all the political parties, their heads,
parliamentary leaders and members of the committees for their
contribution, which led to unanimous approval of the 21st
Constitutional Amendment and the Army Act (Amendment) Bill 2015 by
the National Assembly.