ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday is chairing a Multi-Party Conference (MPC) at the Prime Minister's House in Islamabad.
In his opening speech, the premier said it was remarkable how the country's political leadership had gathered for the MPC in Peshawar on Dec 17, despite witnessing a horrific incident of terror on Dec 16.
Special courts needed due to extraordinary times: COAS
According to a tweet posted by Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) spokesman Major Asim Bajwa on his official Twitter account, Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif said during the MPC that special courts were not desired by the Pakistan Army but they were needed due to extraordinary times.
No room for further debate on National Action Plan in NA: Nawaz
PM Nawaz said all political parties had played a major role in preparation of the National Action Plan (NAP) for countering terrorism in the country, adding that everyone would want to see it coming to fruition.
The PM said there had been adequate debate on the NAP for 15 days. "There is no room for further debate in the Parliament," he said, adding that they would have to give final shape to the NAP today and then table the bill in the National Assembly.
He also said military courts set up to try terror suspects would only be functional in the country for two years.
Earlier, copies of the constitutional amendment for establishing military courts in the country had been distributed amongst the participants of the MPC in order to get their feedback.
Ministers attending the MPC include:
- Defence Minister Khawaja Asif
- Finance Minister Ishaq Dar
- Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan
- Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid
- Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal
- Attorney General Salman Butt
- Barrister Zafarullah
- Federal Minister for State and Frontier Regions General (r) Abdul Qadir Baloch
- Special Assistant to the PM Khawaja Zaheer
Military is represented by:
- Army Chief General Raheel Sharif
- Director General Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) Gen Rizwan Akhtar
- Director General Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) Gen Asim Bajwa
Prominent leaders from PPP include:
- Former president Asif Ali Zardari
- Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah
- PPP leader Makhdoom Amin Faheem
- PPP leader Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan
- PPP leader Mian Raza Rabbani,
- Former interior minister Rehman Malik
- PPP leader Farhatullah Babar
- PPP leader Sherry Rehman
- PPP leader Farooq H. Naik
PTI is represented by:
- PTI Chairman Imran Khan
- PTI vice chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi
- PTI leader Shafqat Mehmood
- PTI leader Naeemul Haq
- PTI spokesperson Shireen Mizari
The meeting is aimed at addressing concerns of political parties over the establishment of military courts in the country to try terror suspects.
Two main opposition parties — Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) — which had earlier endorsed the move — are now having mixed feelings on the subject.
A day earlier, Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah refuted that the establishment of military courts was discussed during the Dec 24 meeting of parliamentary leaders.
Shah said that during the meeting, establishment of special courts did come into discussion but not military courts.
The MPC will also bring into discussion the progress on the implementation of the National Action Plan against terrorism, which had been agreed upon by all major political stakeholders in the country.
Key cabinet members and chief ministers of all four provinces are also attending the meeting.