Vol. 3 No. 2 (2020): Pakistan Journal of International Affairs

Anti Terrorism Legal Framework in Pakistan and Challenges before the Criminal Justice System

Published 2021-03-28


Terrorism is a global problem and it is becoming more complicated over the years. Most countries including Pakistan are adopting new measures to combat terrorism. However, the existing legal regime in Pakistan has several weaknesses and the government faces new challenges in fighting terrorism. This paper examines the anti-terrorism legislation of Pakistan by arguing that it has become unsuccessful to curb the threat of terrorism by fetching the terrorists to justice. This paper also provides analysis of the development of anti-terrorism laws in Pakistan after the September 2001 terrorist attacks in the US (9/11 attacks) through a broad history of progression as per the varying nature of the hazards faced by the State. Several governments made various legal mechanisms to cope with the criminalities those could not be sought under the ordinary judicial system of the State. Being the primary anti-terrorism legislation, the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 is used to handle the menace of sectarian violence in the State. Due to the 9/11 attack, throughout varying character of the danger caused by the Al-Qaeda or Taliban connected local terrorist Jihadi as well as sectarian organizations, Pakistan needs to amend not just the anti-terrorism procedure, but also required to introduce new related regulations to make the law more effective to aid speedy trials of the involved terrorists. This paper reviews critically the existing anti-terrorism laws, investigation techniques and trial processes adopted in Pakistan and identifies weaknesses and challenges in ensuring the effective implementation of the laws