The Pakistan Supreme Court on Wednesday set up a seven-member bench to define the term “terrorism”. The decision was taken up byChief Justice of Pakistan Asif Saeed Khosa, who will head the larger bench and decide what constitutes an act of terrorism and what does not, Dawn reported.
“Since 1997, it has not been established which cases fall under terrorism,” said Khosa.
The definition of terrorism was discussed while the court was hearing review petitions in two cases, where the accused were charged under Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act.
The application of the Anti-Terrorism Act clauses also came under scrutiny last year when the Pakistan Supreme Court dismissed capital punishment awarded by an anti-terrorism court to three people accused of murder.
The court’s decision came amid pressure on the Pakistani government to crack down on terror outfits such as the Jaish-e-Mohammad, which had claimed responsibility for the Pulwama terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir on February 14 in which 40 security personnel were killed.
According to legal experts in Pakistan, there is no precise or widely accepted definition of the word “terrorism”. It often refers to and is applied to a variety of acts of violence that are not strictly within the ambit of terrorism, ARY News reported. The features of an act of terrorism include the use or threat of violence and political motivation for some specific purpose.