The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has promulgated an ordinance extending certain powers of the armed forces, which were available in erstwhile FATA and PATA, while acting in aid of civil power to the entire province.
The ordinance is almost a reproduction of two regulations promulgated by the president in 2011 for FATA and PATA, through which legal cover was given to several detention centers set up during military operations in different regions.
It gives wide-ranging powers to authorized officers and armed forces besides giving an interning authority to detain a suspect for an indeterminable amount of time in unlisted internment camps. The armed forces have also been empowered to occupy any property with the approval of the provincial government.
The Peshawar High court had scrapped the ordinance calling it unconstitutional. However days later, the decision of the Peshawar court was suspended by the Supreme Court where the Chief Justice has also ordered a larger bench to listen to the case. The petitioners to the case say that the ordinance deprives the people of their fundamental rights.
The petitioners remain hopeful to seek a permanent suspension of this ordinance from the Supreme Court.
Authored by staff reporter