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Pakistan Backs Wire-Tap Evidence to Bolster Anti-Terrorism Law

Pakistan’s National Assembly approved a bill allowing use of electronic evidence from wire-tapping and communication intercepts against terror suspects after a large number of acquittals by anti-terrorism courts for lack of proof.

“It is an accepted fact that terrorists are not getting convicted and are not brought to justice because of lack of relevant rules and laws,” Law Minister Farooq H. Naek said while presenting the bill in the National Assembly, or the lower house, in Islamabad today.

The U.S. “Country Reports on Terrorism 2011,” released in July, put the acquittal rate for terrorist cases to as high as 85 percent in Pakistan, which is seen as a hub of global terrorism. Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden was found and killed in a Pakistani town by U.S. Navy SEALs in May 2011.

Nuclear-armed Pakistan is an ally of the U.S. and has lost more than 40,000 people to bombings by the Taliban since joining the U.S. in the war on terror after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

The bill, which was unanimously passed by the National Assembly, now goes to the Senate, Pakistan’s upper house.

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