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18th & 21st Amendment: Supreme Court seeks Federal Government response

ISLAMABAD: A jury of three judges of Supreme Court (SC) of Pakistan chaired by Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali and comprising Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed and Justice Mashir Alam, has ordered the Attorney General Salman Aslam Butt to submit response about 18th and 21st Constitutional Amendment in three days, in wake of the petitions filed against the 18th and 21st Constitutional Amendment.

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All provincial government submitted their responses today in Supreme Court except federal government.

During the hearing session, Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali inquired from the AG about any response from the federal government. The AG replied that the federal government was  served by a notice without any order to submit a response.

Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed told the AG to read out the order of the last hearing in front of the court that is clearly demanding the response from federal government. In response, the AG asked for three days time to submit a response which the court granted.

On February 12, a three-member bench headed by Chief Justice (CJ) Nasir-ul-Mulk heard the petitions against the 21st Amendment. The federation as well as provinces had asked for time to submit responses in court. The CJ had allowed 10 days to submit responses, adjourning the case till February 24.

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21st Constitutional Amendment:

Twenty-first Constitutional Amendment was passed by both National Assembly of Pakistan and Senate of Pakistan on January 06, 2015 and reconceived the assent of the President of Pakistan, Mamnoon Hussain on January 07, 2015. The Bill amended the Article 175 and the First Schedule of the Constitution of 1973 as well as Army Act, 1952. It also has a self-contained sunset clause, which causes the amendments to expire on January 07, 2017. The amendment sought to setup speedy trial Military Courts for offences relating to terrorism, waging of war against Pakistan and prevention of acts threatening the security of Pakistan. The duration of such court would be two years. The decision to amend the constitution came after the 2014 Peshawar Army Public School massacre.

18th Constitutional Amendment:

Eighteen Constitutional Amendment was passed by National Assembly of Pakistan on April 08, 2010, removing the power of President of Pakistan to dissolve the Parliament unilaterally, turning Pakistan from a semi-presidential to a parliamentary republic and renaming North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) to Khayber Pakhtoonkhwa (KPK).

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