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Pakistani Cabinet Approves Changes In Antiterrorism Laws

Pakistan's federal cabinet has approved sweeping changes to the country's antiterrorism laws.

The amendments on September 20 are aimed at empowering the security forces to better handle widespread violence in the country.

One of the changes allows the security forces to hold suspects for 90 days without a court's approval.

Current Pakistani laws require security forces to present suspects within days of the arrest.

The changes also endorsed new antiterrorism courts, which are empowered to decide cases within a month.

The amendments call for providing security to witnesses and prosecutors in cases related to terrorist acts.

The Pakistani constitution requires that the federal parliament approve the amendments to the current antiterrorism laws.

Pakistan's former government failed to get the parliament to back similar amendments in 2010.

Based on reporting by and BBC Urdu