President Dr Arif Alvi has signed two bills, the Official Secrets (Amendment) Bill and the Pakistan Army Act (Amendment) Bill. This comes after he previously refused to sign over a dozen other bills. The National Assembly was dissolved on August 9, so the Parliament cannot approve any legislation at the moment. The new laws will only be implemented after the expected election in February.
The Pakistan Army Act (Amendment) Bill was passed by the Senate last month. This bill introduces new provisions to punish those who disclose sensitive information about the country’s security or army. Offenders could face up to five years in jail. Additionally, the bill imposes a two-year political activity ban on individuals subject to the Army Act after leaving military service.
Furthermore, the bill introduces sections concerning conflict of interest, electronic crimes, and defamation. It states that anyone who commits an offense under the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, with the intention of undermining the armed forces, will be punished accordingly. In addition, anyone subject to the Army Act who ridicules or brings hatred against the armed forces could face imprisonment or fines.
These amendments aim to strengthen the protection of classified information and ensure the respect and standing of the Pakistani armed forces.
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