ISLAMABAD - The federal government has established three special courts in three provincial capitals to try terror suspects under the Protection of Pakistan Act (PoPA).

Under the PoPA, five special courts were due to be set up in four provincial capitals and Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT). Three courts have been established in Peshawar, Lahore and Quetta while another two are yet to be set up in Karachi and Islamabad. The courts concerned have issued notifications for the appointment of judges in the three courts following the Federal Law Ministry has notified in this regard.

According to the notifications, these courts have been established for a period of two years as PoPA has a sunset clause of two years.  

District and Session Judge Mokarrab Khan will head the special court in Lahore, Judge Zafar Khosa and Judge Anwar Ali Khan will head in Quetta and Peshawar respectively. These judges will take over until January 7. The Parliament had passed PoPA last year to deal with terrorists and cases of terrorism that had drawn criticism from some political parties, civil society and human rights activist.