The Senate has passed a bill to amend the Pakistan Army Act 1952. The bill proposes up to five years in jail for anyone who discloses sensitive information about the security of Pakistan or the Pakistan Army. The bill, titled “Pakistan Army (Amendment) Act, 2023”, was moved by Defence Minister Khawaja Asif. It introduces Section 26-A, which punishes the unauthorized disclosure of information with imprisonment. However, if someone discloses information with prior approval from the chief of army staff or an empowered officer, it will not be considered unauthorized. The bill also introduces Section 26-B, which prohibits anyone subject to the Army Act from engaging in political activity for two years after retirement or dismissal. It further states that those who have been on sensitive duties are forbidden from participating in any political activity for five years after retirement or dismissal. Violation of these conditions can result in imprisonment for up to two years. Additionally, the bill proposes introducing Sections 55-A, 55-B, and 55-C, which address conflict of interest, electronic crimes, and defamation. These sections impose penalties for certain actions that undermine the Pakistan Army. The bill is yet to be fully implemented.
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