Politicians, media, traders won’t be tried in military courts
ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Saturday categorically stated that the military courts would not be used to hold trials of politicians, businessmen and media persons and only terrorism-related trials would be conducted in these courts.
Addressing a press conference here, the minister emphasised that the country’s judicial system would continue to carry out its functions. He said the establishment of special courts is not a case of no-confidence in the judicial system of the country. “Pakistan is passing through an extraordinary situation demanding extraordinary measures,” he said.
Nisar said the Pakistan Army, police and security agencies would present terrorists before the special courts where they would get a full opportunity to defend themselves. He said the special courts headed by army officers would also work under laws, rules and regulations.
Nisar dispelled the impression that military courts are being constituted under the pressure of the army.
The minister said the Peshawar tragedy was not an intelligence failure as timely alerts are issued to the provinces. He said the agencies have been sharing intelligence and it is for the provinces to take preventive measures or any other action.
Nisar said the challenge of terrorism can be tackled with the collective national effort in which every citizen will have to be mobilised. He said he has proposed that there should be an unannounced national security emergency in the country for the next two years. “This is because we have to achieve targets in two years and for this purpose we need to focus our time, energy and resources,” he said.
The minister said SHOs have been asked to keep an eye on all those entering and leaving the area of their jurisdiction. He said there would also be monitoring of hotels and vigilance in every mohalla and street.
Nisar said a National Helpline for Terrorism, 1717, has been established to convey any suspect activity.
He said the federal and provincial agencies would identify TTP militants, their supporters, financiers and planners. He said action has already started in this regard.
Nisar said 400 intelligence-based operations have been conducted during the last three months in which 100 terrorists have been killed and 250 others arrested.
The minister said a meeting of the Ulema would be convened in Islamabad to seek their help in the implementation of the decisions of the National Action Plan. He said action would only be taken against those seminaries against whom there is evidence. He said an overwhelming majority of Madaris have nothing to do with extremism. He said there will be zero tolerance against hate literature or hate speech. “Such literature would be confiscated and action taken against those involved in such activities,” he said.
The minister said there should not be a glorification of militants or their activities. He said those indulging in the misuse of loudspeakers would be arrested.
The minister urged the media not to publicise the messages or threats of militants. He said the law enforcing agencies would block the financial resources of terrorists.
Nisar said talks have been initiated with four brotherly Islamic countries through diplomatic channels to ensure that terrorists get no funding from abroad. He said 60 banned organisations would not be allowed to operate under any other name and the agencies would identify their accounts and seize them.
To a question, he clarified that the four brotherly countries are not providing finances for terrorism. “They are sincerely providing assistance to seminaries and are being approached to ensure that this assistance is not misused by the recipients,” he said.
The minister said operations are being launched in the federal areas as well as in provinces to arrest all those living illegally. He said about 500 such persons have been arrested from the suburbs of Islamabad.
He said an exercise has been initiated to gather data on all Afghan refugees living anywhere in Pakistan. He said these refugees are supposed to be in camps but unfortunately they have spread to different parts of the country.
Nisar said new laws would be used only against ‘jet-black’ terrorists involved in fighting against the state. He said no political party has an armed wing.
To another question, he said after years Pakistan and Afghanistan are proactively cooperating in operations against terrorists. He said the two countries are sharing intelligence and action is taken on that basis