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Detention of missing persons given legal cover

23 January, 2014

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ISLAMABAD: The government has given legal protection to the detention of missing persons after promulgating the Protection of Pakistan Ordinance (Amended).

President Mamnoon Hussain has signed the ordinance that aims at dealing with the affairs of missing persons as per the Supreme Court orders; make the operation against militants and enemies of the state more effective and enhance the powers of the special courts.

Sources said that seven amendments had been added to the ordinance, approved by the National Assembly's Interior Committee a day ago.They said the term 'combatant enemy' had been defined in the ordinance. They said according to the ordinance, a 'combatant enemy' is the one who takes up arms against, issues threats inter alia to Pakistan, its citizens, armed forces, civil order forces or their assistants.

The ordinance denotes that the persons under detention of security forces will be considered detained from the day of promulgation of the ordinance. Those facing charges will be tried in courts and the security forces will have 'indemnity' on their detention.

The 'combatant enemies' ready to lay down arms will be transferred to rehabilitation centres but the security forces will have the right to keep the location of these centres secret.

Powers of special courts will be enhanced enabling them to cancel citizenship of any 'combatant enemy' and case of any hardened criminal can also be shifted from other courts to special courts.

The ordinance denotes that those involved in such crimes outside Pakistan or the foreigners involved in subversive activities in Pakistan will also be considered 'combatant enemy' and dealt with the ordinance.The special courts will have the power to keep their proceedings secret or open.

End.

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