Project Overview

In January 2013, RSIL started an ambitious 15-month project that focused on legislative reform relating to counter-terrorism in Pakistan.

Under this project, RSIL’s research team first produced a five-volume compendium containing the case summary and analysis of all reported judgments under the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 (ATA) between 1997-2013 which involved an exhaustive review of approximately 900 judgments of the superior courts in Pakistan. This was followed by the development of a comprehensive, 300-page report entitled, ‘The Case for Change’, which served as a consultation document or ‘White Paper’ by synthesizing the relevant stakeholders on the specific weaknesses in the current framework and presented policy preferences prior to the introduction of legislation. This report was prepared after studying the laws, procedures and best practices on counter-terrorism in 32 countries.

The project concluded with the drafting of a Pakistan-specific ‘Model Anti-Terrorism Law’ which was constructed with the input of numerous stakeholders from within the government and civil society.

Project Outcomes

Many of RSIL’s suggestions were incorporated in the 2014 Amendments to the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997. Our recommendations also resulted in the enactment of Investigations for Fair Trial Act, 2013 by Parliament. RSIL’s proposals on administrative reforms relating to prosecution and investigation were implemented by the Advocate General Punjab in 2013.

RSIL’s Report on the ATA was circulated by the Chief Justice of Pakistan to all Anti-Terrorism Courts in the country. RSIL’s case summaries on the ATA are used by the Prosecution Departments in all four provinces in Pakistan. The research findings from the Report have been incorporated in teaching curriculums on counter-terrorism in several Judicial Academies and Universities across the country.

Date: January 2013 to March 2014

Team: Jamal Aziz, Oves Anwar, Saad-ur-Rehman Khan, Abid Rizvi, Aleena Zainab Alavi, Zainab Mustafa, Ali Sultan, Amna Warsi, Ayasha Warsi, Moghees Khan, Mishael Qureshi, Abdul Ghani, Muhammad Bin Majid

Funded By: UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office through the British High Commission, Islamabad

Seminar on Counter-Terrorism Legislation and The Way Forward