ISLAMABAD: Faced with a resilient Taliban insurgency, deadly sectarian violence and rampant crimes, the government is considering a slew of administrative and legal measures to restore peace in the country. The government plans to amend the anti-terrorism laws to allow security forces to shoot terrorism suspects. The government plans amendments to the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997, including in Section 5 which authorises the security forces to “use force” to prevent a terrorist act. Presently, the security forces can “open fire” “when fired upon” by a suspect(s). Through an amendment the government seeks to omit the phrase “when fired upon”.
Similarly, target killers, extortionists and kidnappers will also be treated as “terrorists”. The armed forces or civil armed forces will be authorised to detain a person involved in such offences for three months for investigations. Currently, they can detain a suspect for 30 days. Apparently, the move has been prompted by the law and order situation in the megacity of Karachi.
Target killing, kidnappings for ransom and extortion shall be investigated by a police officer not below the rank of inspector or where the government deems necessary by a joint investigation team comprising police, armed forced, civil armed forces, intelligence agencies and other law-enforcement agencies. Internews