PESHAWAR - A group of bereaved mothers of the martyred students of Army Public School, Peshawar on Wednesday demanded extension of military courts.

During a press conference organised by APS Shuhada Forum at Peshawar Press Club, mother of Asfand Shaheed said terrorism acts had considerably been declined due to effective functioning of the military courts and punishments to terrorists during the last two years. She said it was inevitable to give extension to military courts to bring the perpetrators of the gruesome APS attack to the court of justice.

She also said the APS attack united the nation against terrorism, after which government set up military courts to dismantle sanctuaries of the militants groups and to restore peace and normalcy in the country.

She was flanked by mothers of other martyred students of APS, including mothers of Osama, Shaheer, Mobeen Afridi, and mother of a martyred teacher of the school. She said terrorism acts were considerably declined after the establishment of special military courts. She further said that peace was restored to some extent, with the matchless sacrifices of schoolchildren and security forces’ personnel. “We will not forgive the blood of our beloved children until we bring all the culprits involved in the APS attack to the court of justice”, she resolved.

Mother of Asfand further said they would not allow political point scoring over blood of their innocent children. She stated that politicians’ children were studying abroad, and they were least bothered about the future of children in the country.

The bereaved mother asked the government and politicians to refrain of any such step that might damage the safe future of their children, or benefit terrorists. She also said those people who are against the extension of military courts are not sincere to get the country rid of the menace of terrorism. “We want a sincere leadership and better future of our children”, she said, demanding the federal government to give extend the military courts to cope with internal and external security challenges and control terrorism activities in the country so that to ensure a safe and prosperous future for the upcoming generations.

The bereaved mothers of APS martyrs warned that if the government failed to extend military courts period, they along-with their children would be compelled to besiege parliament house by holding a sit-in till the acceptance of their demands.

COMMITTEE TO FINALISE KP POLICE BILL

Chief Minister Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Pervez Khattak on Wednesday constituted a committee to finalise a draft bill for replacing existing police laws in the province.

The chief minister was presiding over 2nd meeting of the select committee on Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Police Bill 2016, which envisages establishment of an independent forensic lab in the province, among other things.

The meeting was attended by provincial ministers, leader of the opposition, members of the provincial assembly from treasury and opposition benches as well as government functionaries related to police reforms. The meeting discussed the proposed bill at length and made a number of decisions to bring amendments to the proposed draft.

The meeting decided on the mode of posting of inspector general of police (IGP) under which the chief minister would pick one among three police officers nominated by the Prime Minister for posting as IGP in the province.

Regarding other amendments, the chief minister formed a committee comprising representatives from government, opposition and other stakeholders. Khattak tasked the committee to find out a solution to the provincial posts in police, creation of new posts and maintaining the ratio of provincial employees including their vertical mobility.

On this occasion, the chief minister said the present method of registering a first investigation report (FIR) had a number of weaknesses that warranted fine tuning to make it more transparent in order to remove apprehensions of certain quarters alleging the existent procedure for promoting crimes instead of fighting it.

“Laws are formed for the people. The power and authority always carry element of responsibility, therefore, the present bill should encompass all the legalities, spelling out clearly the use of power and the subsequent action on the misuse of power”, Khattak said on the occasion.  He agreed that the government should have the power and authority to enquire abuse of power and take subsequent action.

He said laws should be uniform and for all people without any discrimination. Reforms in FIR registeration are necessary for efficient delivery. There should be enough evidence for the arrest so that the cases could be proved in the courts that require responsibility and responsiveness, he added.

The chief minister said the government wanted to stop lengthening shadow of injustices in the society and was introducing legislations for the purpose. He said there should be monitoring teams and oversight committees to have a check on the ‘Thana Culture’. 

The chief minister on the recommendations of the participants agreed to make station house officers (SHOs) responsible for any weaknesses in FIRs.

 

This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 12-Jan-2017 here.