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National Assembly and Senate on Tuesday passed the 21st Constitutional Amendment and Pakistan Army Act Amendment Bill for the speedy trial of terrorists through Special Courts headed by army officers.

In the National Assembly, two hundred and forty-seven members cast their votes in favour of the bill while none against it.

The votes were more than the two-thirds majority required for an amendment in the Constitution.

In Senate, the Constitutional amendment and amendment in Pakistan Army Act were passed with 78 votes in favour and none against.

The amendment was passed with Amendments furnished by the mover and Federal Minister Rana Tanveer Hussain.

Members of PTI, JUI-F and Jamaat-e-Islami did not attend the proceedings of the House.    

The amendment is aimed at speedy conviction of terrorists through Special Trial Courts headed by army officers.

The 21st amendment provides for entering the Pakistan Army Act 1952, the Pakistan Army Act 1953, the Pakistan Navy Act 1961 and the Protection of Pakistan Act, 2014 in the first schedule of the Constitution.

A new clause was inserted in Pakistan Army Act bill under which provisions of this act shall prevail in case there is any conflict between this act and any other law.

Under the Amendment in clause D of Army Act 1952, any person who belongs to any terrorist group or organization and uses the name of religion or a sect and  wages war against Pakistan will be tried under this act.

Those attacking the armed forces, the law enforcement agencies and any civil or military installations will also be punished under this act.

The cases of kidnapping for ransom or the incidents causing death to any person or injury will also be brought to justice through this amendment.  

Those in possession of explosive material, fire arms, suicide jackets or vehicles will also be tried under the act.   

The provisions of the two bills shall remain in force for a period of two years from the date of their commencement.

Earlier, speaking in the National Assembly on the 21st Constitutional Amendment, Leader of the Opposition in the House, Syed Khursheed Shah said the entire nation is united to rid the country of terrorism.

Radio Pakistan's parliamentary correspondent says now the two bills would be sent to the President for his assent to become part of the Constitution and the statute book.

The approval of the President will clear the way for creation of special courts, headed by Army Officers, for speedy trial of terrorists.


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