ISLAMABAD - Agreeing on constitution of special trial courts with specified timelines for the trial of hardened terrorists, political and military leadership has evolved consensus on national action plan against terrorism to rid the country from this menace and launch multi-pronged operation against them.

Spelling out salient points in the resolution adopted with consensus by All Parties Conference, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said Peshawar school carnage has transformed Pakistan into a country where there is no room for terrorism as the lives and properties of the people are dear to him.

Being a father himself, Premier Sharif said, he could feel the pain of the parents who had lost their children. Those who had lost their lives in school carnage were like his own children and terrorists could not be allowed to play with the lives of the innocent people anymore, he added. He said that political leadership across the national spectrum has extended complete support to government in its drive against militants, adding that they would flush them out of the motherland.

Giving details about the constitution of special trial courts to be manned by Armed Forces personnel Premier Sharif said that formal legislation in this connection would be done for which a committee of experts comprising Afrasiab Khattak, Aitzaz Ahsan, Hamid Khan, Barrister Farogh Nasim, Mushahid Hussain Syed, Attorney General of Pakistan Salman Butt, Khawaja Zaheer and Barrister Zafarullah would work out the proposed amendment to the constitution.

Reading out the points agreed at the APC and made part of the joint resolution adopted after a threadbare discussion on all dimensions of the terrorism, the prime minister made it clear that government would go all out against the militants and end the menace of terrorism once and for all.

The PM informed that it was unanimously agreed: (1) That special trial courts manned by armed forces personnel, be established for not more than two years, immediately with specified timelines for the trial of hardened terrorists in the shortest possible time, so that the justice is done; (2) To achieve this objective, all the leaders agreed to the making of the requisite amendments in the relevant laws and constitution.

The committee mandated the government to act decisively in eliminating terrorism and extremism of all kinds from Pakistan. A consensus on key recommendations of the Parliamentary Committee was also reached, which the prime minister will announce in his address to the nation.

The APC appreciated the sacrifices and exemplary valour of civilians and members of the LEAs as well as the armed forces in combating terrorism particularly in Zarb-e-Azb. The APC also commended the government in strengthening ties with Afghanistan, which will be pivotal in the fight against terrorism and extremism.

Earlier the marathon meeting of political elite of the country across the spectrum remained in progress for well over 10 hours and spread over various session to thrash out differences mainly on the issue of constitution of special trial courts to be headed by Army officers.

Sources aware of the deliberations of the day long deliberations on the action plan on counter-terrorism political leadership came up with all out support to government in the war against militancy. However, political parties engaged into long debate on the constitution of special trial courts with almost all the major opposition parties coming up with opposition to constitution of these courts.

But later after threadbare discussion the prime minister and his political aides managed to convince them on constitution of these courts because according to Prime Minister country was passing through an extraordinary circumstances so extraordinary steps and measures would be needed to tackle the situation.

Later, after heated debate the parties agreed to the constitution of special trial courts manned by army officers for two years by introducing amendment in the constitution. These courts would expeditiously deal with the cases of terrorists in specified timeframe.

The meeting was specially attended by Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif and ISI DG Lt-Gen Rizwan Akhtar on the direction of Premier Sharif. Army Chief also spoke on the occasion and extended all out support to government in flushing out terrorists. He stressed the need for taking bold steps to deal with the extraordinary situation country is facing.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said it was an historic occasion that consensus has emerged on the national action plan. He vowed that the agreed points would be fully implemented. The prime minister reiterated resolve of the government to get rid of the menace of terrorism once for all.

In his opening remarks Prime Minister said Zarb-e-Azb operation was successfully going on in North Waziristan and there was a dire need to expand it to the entire country against those elements who want to destabilise Pakistan. He urged the political leadership to take strong and decisive decisions to purge the country of terrorism.

Nawaz Sharif said the gruesome incident of Peshawar has united the entire nation and it is now looking towards the political leaders to take the right decisions. He said the history and the nation will not forgive us if we failed to rid the country of this menace. The PM said all the political parties should demonstrate unity and discuss the concerns if they have any on any issue. “We are ready to address the concerns pertaining to the imminent legislation.”

Regretting the barbaric incident of Peshawar as the unprecedented in the world’s history, Nawaz Sharif said Pakistan has paid a heavy price both in terms of human losses and economy in the war on terror. Briefing the meeting, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali said the participants of the National Action Plan Committee agreed to raise a force of five thousand personnel to counter terrorism.

He said the army would prepare and train this force, which will be deployed one thousand each in federal capital and the four provinces. He said there was a consensus among the committee members that effective coordination among the civil-military leadership was imperative to eliminate the scourge of terrorism from the country.

The PM said the committee emphasised proactive efforts to check financial support to terrorists, and their communication networks. He said the members also underlined the need to update the Red Book of the most wanted suspects regularly. He said the committee called for ensuring that the banned organizations do not reemerge with different names.

He said there was a demand by the members of the committee to immediately ban the material on internet that glorifies terrorists and their activities. Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar said glorification of terrorists on media will be totally banned, and if a law is required for it, it would be made.

The prominent among those who attended the parliamentary party meeting included Leader of the Opposition in National Assembly Khurshid Shah, Leader of the Opposition in Senate Aitzaz Ahsan, PTI chief Imran Khan, ANP leader Ghulam Ahmed Bilour, MQM leader Farooq Sattar, Qaumi Watan Party chief Aftab Ahmed Sherpao, JUI-F chief Fazlur Rehman, National Party leader Hasil Bazinjo, PML-Q leader Mushahid Hussain, PML-Zia chief Ejazul Haq, and JI Ameer Sirajul Haq.

After the meeting talking to media PPP leaders Syed Khurshid Shah, Rehman Malik and Qamar Zaman Kaira said all political parties supported establishment of the speedy trial courts within the parameters of the constitution. They said terrorists would be tried in these courts and these would not be used for political objectives. They said setting up of speedy trial courts was necessitated by the fact that normal judicial system was not delivering.

The PPP leaders said the committee headed by Interior Minister Ch Nisar would monitor implementation of the national action plan.PTI leader Shah Mahmood Qureshi said the firm national resolve has sent a clear message to terrorists. Qureshi said that they have extended support to government to rid the country of the menace of terrorism.

MQM central leader Farooq Sattar said that they hoped that special trial courts would only deal with terrorism related cases. He added that they had extended support to the constitution of special trial courts remaining within the constitutional and legal framework.

Action Plan

 Special trial courts manned by armed forces personnel be established for not more than two years, immediately with specified timelines for the trial of hardened terrorists.

    To achieve this objective, all the leaders agreed to the

making of the requisite amendments in the relevant laws and Constitution.

    A commitment to ensure that no armed militias are

allowed to function in the country.

    Dealing with strengthening and activation of NACTA.

   Countering hate speech and extremist material.

    Choking financing for terrorists and their organisations.

   Ensuring against the re-emergence of proscribed organizations.

    Establishing and deploying a dedicated counter-terrorism force;

    Taking effective steps against religious persecution.

    Registration and regulation of Madrassahs.

   Ban on glorification of terrorism and terrorist groups through print and electronic media.

    Administrative and development reforms in Fata with

immediate focus on return of TDPs.

    Dismantling communication networks of terrorist

organizations.

    Tangible measures against abuse of internet and social media for terrorism.

    Zero tolerance for militancy in parts of Punjab.

   Taking the ongoing operation in Karachi to its logical

conclusion.

    Empowering Balochistan government for political

reconciliation with complete ownership by all stakeholders.

    Dealing firmly with sectarian terrorists.

    Formulation of a comprehensive policy to deal with the issue of Afghan refugees.

    Revamping and reforming the criminal justice system,

to strengthen counter-terrorism departments including

granting of powers to the provincial CIDs to intercept

terrorist communications.