Asma says 21st amendment suicide attack on parliament

Published January 11, 2015
In this photo, leading human rights activist and former president of Supreme Court Bar Association Asma Jahangir gestures during an interview. — AFP/File
In this photo, leading human rights activist and former president of Supreme Court Bar Association Asma Jahangir gestures during an interview. — AFP/File

LAHORE: Former president of Supreme Court Bar Association and chairperson of Friends group, Asma Jahangir, has termed the 21st amendment a suicide attack on parliament.

She said the new legislation would have a serious impact on political discourse of the country.

She was talking to media persons on Saturday at Lahore Judicial Complex where she had come to cast her vote in the election of Lahore Bar Association.

She said the parliamentarians were ‘blackmailed’ on the issue of military courts.

Ms Jahangir said members of the parliament failed to question the reasons behind terrorism and to come up with a rational solution to curb the menace. She said former dictator Musharraf also tried to establish military courts but failed due to strong agitation by the civil society.

However, she regretted a democratic government itself delegated powers of the parliament to military courts.

When asked whether the new legislation could be challenged before the Supreme Court, she said assailing the law would be tantamount to undermining the parliament.

Professional group’s head Hamid Khan said the military courts would not be a right solution to terrorism. He said the nation had already faced failure of these courts in dictatorial regimes of Ayub Khan, Yahya Khan and Ziaul Haq. He said the executive also failed to improve law and order and it endorsed establishment of military courts to prosecute suspects without evidence.

He said he could not dispel the apprehension that the military courts would be used for political victimisation.

Published in Dawn January 11th , 2014

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