Parliamentary leaders failed to build consensus on military courts


Parliamentary leaders in the National Assembly failed to resolve their differences on the revival of military courts. The special meeting chaired by speaker national Assembly Sardar Ayyaz Sadiq to discuss the issue of military courts with parliamentary leaders of different political parties represented in the National Assembly. JUI-F and PPPP are vocally opposing the extension to military courts. PTI also express reservations on military courts. The parliamentary leaders asked the government to brief them on the performance of the military courts in last two years. The meeting decided to arrange the briefing on 17th January.

The parliament unanimously passed the constitutional amendment to establish military courts for the period of two years which expires last week. Now the government wants to revive the military courts through another amendment in the constitution but opposition parties and some allies of the government opposing such idea. Opposition leader made it clear in the meeting that PPPP will not support any amendment in the constitution to permanently establish military courts in the country. The second largest opposition party PTI is also expressing reservations on this amendment.

The government is trying to build consensus on this issue so the required amendment can be passed through the both houses of parliament. The government has comfortable majority in the national assembly but still short of two thirds majority. The government needs the support of atleast MQM and JUI-F to pass the amendment in the national assembly. But opposition parties enjoys comfortable majority in the Senate to block such legislation.

So it is not possible for the government to pass the constitutional amendment from the parliament without developing consensus.

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