The Pakistan Army Act, initially designed for trials of armed forces personnel under military law, has cleared both the National Assembly and Senate. The bill, after making its way through these legislative channels, has received the final seal of approval from President Alvi.
This endorsement marks a significant expansion of the law’s scope, as it now extends its jurisdiction to include civilians. Originally introduced to address actions against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) members involved in attacks on both civil and military installations, the law’s implications have now broadened.
Read more : Amendment to the Pakistan Army Act 1952 bill
President Alvi’s recent approval encompasses not only the Pakistan Army Act but also the Official Secrets (Amendment) Bill. Passed with relatively little public attention, these bills empower intelligence agencies with unprecedented authority, allowing them to carry out raids and detain individuals as they see fit. These developments have been enacted just as PTI Chairman Imran Khan is facing charges under the Official Secrets Act in the cipher case, adding further intrigue to the unfolding situation.
The amendments to the secrets act have sparked controversy, facing opposition from various rival parties. The introduced penalties include potential imprisonment of up to two years, along with fines, for those found guilty of defaming the military. Notably, the amendments also offer an exception for disclosures made with the prior approval of the army chief or authorized officers.
Additionally, the amended law imposes limitations on individuals subject to the act, barring them from participating in political activities for a defined duration following retirement or detachment from sensitive duties. Defamation offenses will now fall under relevant electronic and social media regulations.