ISLAMABAD – The vice president of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said that his party will join hands with Jamat-e-Islami (JI) and Mutahidda Qaumi Movement (MQM) to challenge the controversial law – Protection of Pakistan Ordinance – passed by National Assembly.
Qureshi was speaking in front of the parliament with media personnel when he lashed the government for passing the law in the absence of opposition parties.
Qureshi told media that all the opposition parties in the parliament protested against the bill.
The treasury benches passed the Protection of Pakistan Ordinance on Monday, April 7, when lawmakers of all the opposition parties were demonstrating the boycott of the parliamentary session. However, after the approval of bill, the opposition benches never forgot to demonstrate their ‘legislative rights’ by tearing apart the copies of law and surrounding the National Assembly’s speaker.
The ordinance says the government may “authorize the detention of a person for a period … that shall not exceed 90 days if, in the opinion of the government, such person is acting in a manner prejudicial to the integrity, security, defense of Pakistan.” It also allows the government and armed forces to withhold details of where anyone detained under the order is being held.
Under the new law, suspects can be tried in ‘special courts,’ which are allowed to exclude the public from hearings and withhold details of proceedings. Anyone facing charges under the ordinance must demonstrate his or her innocence to a court—reversing the usual legal burden of proof. Security forces have also been granted powers to open fire on anyone they see committing or ‘likely to commit’ any of a list of terror-related offences.
The law also applies to suspects already in custody.