Counter Terrorism Laws in Pakistan
The laws in Pakistan have evolved over recent decades to counter the menace of terrorism. It is pertinent to mention here the most relevant sections of the general laws and special counter-terrorism laws in order of chronology. These are:
Terrorist related crimes were dealt under the provisions of Pakistan Penal Code 1860 (PPC) which contained offences of waging / attempt to / wage or abetment of waging war against Pakistan (Section 121 PPC), collection of arms etc. with the intention of waging war (Section 122 PPC), assaulting President, Governor etc. (Section 124 PPC), Sedition (Section 124-A PPC) and Mutiny (Section 131 PPC, High-jacking (Section 402-B and C of PPC and Mischief (Section 436-PPC)). These sections of law still form part of the Pakistan Penal Code.
History of special legislation regarding terrorism in Pakistan starts with the legislation of Suppression of Terrorist Activities (Special Courts) Act 1974. Thereafter, Special Courts for Speedy Trial Ordinance 1987, Terrorist Affected Areas (Special Courts) Ordinance 1990, Special Courts for Speedy Trials Ordinance 1991 and Special Courts for Speedy Trials Act 1992 were promulgated /enacted.
Efforts were continuously made for improvement of these laws and finally after the repeal of these laws of 1974 to 1992 from time to time, the Anti-Terrorism Act No. XXVII of 1997 was legislated. The major task was to define the “acts of terrorism” and “Terrorism” and for this purpose, scope of offences was extended to different new forms of terrorist related crime through continuous amendments. These amendments were introduced through following enactments:-
All Ordinances mentioned at Sr. No. 1 to 9 above were covered by Article 270-AA of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973. The laws mentioned at Sr. No. 12 and 13 stood repealed in view of Article 89 of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973 as life of these Ordinances was 120 days.
For the trial of offences under Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 and other terrorism related offences, Special Courts have been established U/s 13 of the Act as “Anti-Terrorism Court”. The courts have been empowered, subject to the availability of resources,! to make such necessary orders and take such measures, as it deems fit for the protection of witnesses, judges, public prosecutors, counsels and other persons concerned in the proceedings.
Following administrative actions can be taken under ATA, 1997:
(a) Calling in and use of Armed Forces and Civil Armed Forces in aid of civil’ power. (S.4&5)
(b) Defining organisations “concerned in terrorism”. (S.11- (A)
(c) Issuance of observation orders. (S.11-B)
(d) Proscription of organisations. (S.20)
(e) Measures to be taken against proscribed organisations i.e. sealing offices, freezing accounts, seizing of literature etc. (S.11 -E)
(f) Security of good behaviour. (S.11-EE)
(g) Arrest and detention of suspected persons. (S.11-EEE)
(h) Membership, support and meetings of proscribed organisation. (S.11-F)
This Act was enacted for the prevention of money laundering, combating financing of terrorism and forfeiture of property derived from, or involved in money laundering or financing of terrorism or for matters connected thereto.
This regulation was specifically meant to curb the menace of terrorism especially in areas of FATA and PATA where the armed forces have been called in aid of civil administration. This regulation also provides mechanism of keeping the suspects in custody as internees.
This was enacted to prevent the Law Enforcement and Intelligence Agencies from using their powers arbitrarily and also to provide for their permissible and fair uses in accordance with law. Rules have been framed under this act.
It deals with Detention issues, JITs composition under SP, Faceless trials and through video Links, Witness Protections Programs are allowed.
This ordinance was promulgated to ensure Compliance of FATF (Financial Action Task Force), to counter Terrorism Financing and allowing for taking action against properties/assets of proscribed organisations involved in the terrorist activities.
This was enacted to provide for protection against waging of war and prevention of
acts threatening the Security of Pakistan and also for the speedy trial of offences falling in the schedule annexed with this Ordinance. Rules have been framed under this act.
This ordinance was promulgated to introduce the concept of enemy combatants and addressing the issues of missing persons. Under the constitutional limits, it gives authority to LEAs to detain suspects for longer period of time.
LIST OF LAWS (GENERAL & SPECIAL) WHICH DEAL WITH VARIOUS ASPECTS OF COUNTER-TERRORISM: