ISLAMABAD - The ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has stepped up efforts to win over the support of maximum parliamentary parties on the issue of extension for the military courts. 

This is in view of the fact that the leadership of these parliamentary parties would meet to examine the Pakistan People’s Party proposals on Thursday to discuss extension for the military courts.

Previously the parliamentary parties huddle under the chair of National Assembly speaker had evolved broader consensus on the extension of military courts for two years.

But the PPP leadership in the meeting of the opposition parties came up with fresh conditions for allowing extension of military courts.

Although some of the opposition parties including the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) did not attend the PPP-called All Parties Conference on military courts extension, but the fresh proposals from the PPP had disturbed the government’s plan to evolve consensus and get it passed from the Parliament last Monday.

Sources informed The Nation that the meeting of parliamentary parties’ leaders was due on Wednesday but it was deferred for a day as the leadership of some of these parties wanted time to examine the proposals of the PPP.

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar was engaged in hectic consultation with the leadership of various political parties to get the legislation done for the extension of the military courts with little changes in its status and working pattern.

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar held detailed meeting with JUI-F Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman who had expressed serious reservations over the military courts’ issue and also wanted delinking of religion and sect with terrorism the point not acceptable to some of the other major parliamentary parties.

Sources in the ruling PML-N informed that Ishaq Dar had assured Maulana Fazlur Rehman that all the genuine concerns of the JUI-F as junior coalition partner would be fully addressed and sought his support in getting the legislation on military courts through.

The JUI-F leadership developed serious differences with the government not only over the extension for the military courts but they were also ignored by the government in case of the Fata reforms issue.

The JUI-F chief has also serious reservations over marginalising them as junior coalition partner in the decision-making process as well as flouting the coalition agreement.

These sources said that Dar also wanted Maulana Fazlur Rehman to play mediatory role between the government and the PPP leadership so that the matter could be resolved amicably.

Sources aware of the developments on this front informed that if the PPP proposals would be accepted then the military courts would become toothless and would fail to serve the purpose for which the government wanted to give extension to these courts.

After failing to reach common ground, the PPP leadership have come up with nine proposals for extension to the military courts as according to them with incorporation of these points the working of the military courts could be made more effective.

The PPP proposals include military courts shall be presided over by one sessions judge or additional sessions judge with a military officer; the sessions/additional sessions judge be nominated by the chief justice of Pakistan; period will be for one year from starting date; right of judicial review by high courts under Article 199 of the Constitution; high court shall decide case within 60 days; accused to be produced within 24 hours before the concerned court; accused to be supplied with grounds of arrest within 24 hours; accused shall have right to engage counsel of his choice, and provisions of Qanoon-i-Shahadat 1984 shall apply.