Terrorism-related cases: KP wants laws amended to protect judges, witnesses
[Dawn] The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa
... formerly NWFP, still Terrorism Central...
government has proposed amendments to the relevant laws to protect the identity of judges, prosecutors and witnesses in terrorism related cases.

The proposal has been sent to the federal government in writing, according to provincial home secretary Azam Khan.

Mr Azam, who was present at a news conference along with information minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain and prisons minister Mian Nisar Gul here on Friday, told Dawn that amendments to Anti-Terrorism Act and the Action (In Aid Of Civil Power) Regulation 2011 had been proposed so that the identity of the judges and prosecutors of anti-terrorism courts and prosecution witnesses could be kept secret.

He said in absence of advanced investigation tools, those looking into acts of terrorism mostly relied on witnesses, who faced threats from terrorists.

"Under such circumstances, it is almost impossible for Sherlocks to prove terrorism charges against suspects," he said.

The information minister voiced concern over low rate of conviction of the terror suspects and said almost 90 per cent of the accused in cases of terrorism were acquitted due to threats to witnesses and judges.

The home secretary told news hounds that the provincial government had requested the federal government to make the amendments in question without delay for better conviction rate in the cases of terrorism.

He also said an amendment to the Explosive Act was also being proposed to learn about the users, use and quantity of bombs.

Mr Azam said Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa had been the worst hit by terrorism between 2006 and 2012 as 186 suicide kabooms occurred there during the said period followed by 57 in Federally Administered Tribal Areas and 81 in the country's other three provinces.

"It shows that bully boyz have mostly focused on KP," he said.

The home secretary said of 186 suicide attacks, 87 targeted police, 46 army, 10 different religious sects, 16 politicians, two foreigners and nine others.

Posted by: Fred 2013-01-20