Over the weekend, a controversial legislation approved by the Pakistani President has garnered attention. However, surprisingly, Dr. Alvi denies signing the two laws empowering intelligence agencies. Days later, he clarified on social media that he did not sign the Official Secrets (Amendment) Bill, 2023, and the Pakistan Army (Amendment) Bill, 2023, due to disagreements.
Dr. Alvi revealed he instructed his staff to return the bills unsigned, but he later learned that his staff had disregarded his instructions. He sought forgiveness from those affected by these laws.
Read more : President Arif Alvi Signed the Army Act Bill
The Pakistan Army (Amendment) Bill, 2023, bestows broad powers upon intelligence agencies. The amendments to the secrets act expand their authority, causing opposition from rival parties and PPP leader Raza Rabbani, who disapproved of such laws.
The bill suggests imprisonment and fines for defaming the military, particularly through electronic channels. It outlines punishment for disclosing prejudicial information and emphasizes that disclosures made with approval from the army chief or authorized officers won’t be penalized.
Furthermore, the bill bars individuals subject to the act from engaging in political activities for two years after their service ends. Those associated with “sensitive” duties under the act will be prohibited from political activities for five years after leaving their posts.
Anyone who intentionally defames the military faces imprisonment or fines under relevant laws. Dr. Alvi’s denial and the controversy surrounding the legislation have sparked debates across the nation.