Monday, January 05, 2015

Law Aimed At Religion-Based Terrorists On Fast Track In Pakistan's Parliament

In Pakistan on Saturday, the government introduced two new bills in response to the Taliban terrorist attack last month on the Army Public School in the city of Peshwar that killed 145 people (including 132 schoolchildren). The bills will sunset after two years. As reported by The News, The Constitution (21st Amendment) Bill, 2015, will allow terrorists to be tried in military courts. The Pakistan Army Act, 1952 (Amendment) Bill, 2015 (full text) adds provisions aimed specifically at terrorist groups acting in the name of a religion:
any person who is or claims or is known to belong to any terrorist group or organization using the name of religion or a sect and raises arms or wages war against Pakistan or attacks the Armed Forces of Pakistan and law enforcement agencies, or attacks any civil or military installations in Pakistan or kidnaps any person for ransom or causes death of any person or injury, or is in possession, storage, fabrication or transport of explosives, fire-arms, instruments, articles, suicide jackets or vehicles designed to be used for terrorist acts, or receives or provides funding from any foreign or local sources for such illegal activities and acts or does any act to overawe the state or any section of the public or a sect or a religious minority or to create terror or insecurity in Pakistan or attempts to commit any of the said acts, within or outside Pakistan shall be punished under this Act;
It is expected that the bills will pass in Parliament quickly.