ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has decided not to challenge the controversial anti-terror bill in the Supreme Court for some time, after the legal minds of the party advised top leadership to challenge the proposed legislation only if it becomes a law, The Nation has learnt.
The National Assembly has passed the Protection of Pakistan Bill, 2014 while the government has tabled it before the upper house of the parliament to get it passed; however, the government does not enjoy required majority to sail it through the house.
The PTI on April 8 had announced to challenge the Protection of Pakistan Bill, 2014 before the apex court, a day after the lower house of the parliament passed it amid severe protest of the opposition parties.
A source in the party informed that Vice Chairman PTI Shah Mahmood Qureshi, soon after the announcement, contacted senior lawyer and PTI leader Hamid Khan to get his advice on it. Hamid advised the party to challenge the bill only if it gets passed from the both the houses of the parliament and becomes a law. At this stage, it will be useless to challenge the bill in the apex court as either it will not accept the petition or turn it down on the grounds that it was mere a proposed law, a source said while quoting Hamid.
PTI Central Information Secretary Shireen Mazari endorsed that PTI has contacted some senior lawyers and they advised the party to challenge the controversial bill once it becomes the law. “Hamid Khan was also contacted and he gave the same opinion,” she added.
“But we are consulting some more lawyers on the issue and the law will be challenged,” she said. She also said that party is determined to challenge it.
Another source in PTI said that the party is also consulting its team of young lawyers on the issue and thinking that an application should be submitted before the apex court stating that PTI wants to challenge the bill.
Shah Mahmood Qureshi along with PTI Chairman Imran Khan had told media persons on April 8 at the Parliament House that PTI would challenge Protection of Pakistan Bill in the Supreme Court with the consultation of all the opposition parties. He had also said that PTI enjoyed support of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and Jamaat-e-Islamai (JI) in that regard.
The controversial anti-terror law allows for law enforcement agencies to shoot at sight if they think someone is a threat or to arrest anyone they think is a suspected terrorist. No warrants are required to enter, search and seize any property of suspects. Any suspect can be detained for 90 days without presenting him/her before the court of law. The PPO safeguards the state for holding information regarding the whereabouts of the suspects under interrogation.