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MPC ends with national consensus on NAP

Updated January 02, 2015

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Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif addresses an All Parties Conference held at PM House in Islamabad on Friday, January 02, 2015. – PPI
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif addresses an All Parties Conference held at PM House in Islamabad on Friday, January 02, 2015. – PPI

ISLAMABAD: The Multi-Party Conference (MPC) on Friday evening concluded with consensus reached on the proposed National Action Plan to counter terrorism in the country in the aftermath of deadly Taliban attack on Peshawar school.

The political and military leadership of the country, after a 5-hour-long meeting, have agreed over the formation of controversial military courts to expedite terrorism related cases.

The meeting unanimously resolved that the 20 points enunciated in the APC resolution of December 24 including establishment of military courts would be acted upon expeditiously.

Explore: Govt may amend ‘basis of constitution’

A draft of the amendment bill in this regard was finalised at the MPC, which is expected to be tabled in the National Assembly on Saturday.

  – A copy of MPC joint declaration provided by Mateen Haider
– A copy of MPC joint declaration provided by Mateen Haider

Federal Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid, speaking to reporters, termed the decisions taken during today’s meeting as ‘historic’. “This day would be remembered in the country’s history,” he said.

He said murderers of innocent women and children cannot be tried under conventional courts of law.

The minister said that Constitution and Army acts would be amended to set up military courts, adding that the Constitutional amendment bill would also be tabled in the Senate on Tuesday.

Rashid praised PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari for playing a “leading role” in reaching consensus over the proposed National Action Plan. He said JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman prayed for the success of NAP at the end of the PM House meeting.

Speaking to the media after conclusion of the MPC, Shah Mehmood Qureshi said despite ‘non-serious’ attitude of the government towards NAP, the Pakistan Thereek-i-Insaf (PTI) leadership showed big heartedness for greater national interest and played its role to evolve national consensus in this regard.

Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq has called a session of the lower house of the Parliament on Saturday, despite it being a holiday.

As political leadership of the country expressed reservations over formation of military courts to expedite the terrorism related cases, Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif during today’s Multi Party Conference (MPC) said that special courts were not desired by the Pakistan Army but they were needed due to extraordinary times.

Chairing the conference at the PM House, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had earlier 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.

Read: No room for further debate on National Action Plan in NA: Nawaz

Earlier today, opposition and treasury benches demanded of the government and the military leadership to review their policies to counter terrorism during the National Assembly’s sesson.

Commenting on the debate over deadly Taliban attack on Army Public School in Peshawar on December 16, the lawmakers said that there was an urgent need to focus on terrorism while the government should take steps to review the existing laws in this regard.

PML-N MNA Umer Ayub Khan said that the government should take steps to bring reforms in the curriculum to change the narratives regarding the terrorism.

MPC strongly condemns Indian BSF

The Multi-Party Conference strongly condemned the “illegal and unconscionable” act of Indian Border Security Force (BSF) and demanded that government of India explain the reasons for the “barbaric and deceitful act”.

The MPC resolution took serious notice of the incident on December 31, in which two soldiers of Pakistan Rangers were killed by cross-border firing.

The resolution said that it also expected that those responsible would be held accountable and actions taken against them communicated to Pakistan.

“This cowardly and unethical act of Indian Border Security Force is in complete violation of internationally recognised professional military norms and spirit of agreed border coordination mechanisms,” the resolution said.

– Irfan Haider and Mateen Haider contributed to the reporting