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2 years in jail, Rs500,000 fine for mocking Pakistani forces as amendment bill passed

Norwegian

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2 years in jail, Rs500,000 fine for mocking Pakistani forces as amendment bill passed
Pakistan
Azaz Syed
April 07, 2021

PTI lawmaker Amjad Ali Khan had submitted the new amendment bill, which was passed by a majority vote


an image
(Top) The National Assembly Standing Committee on Interior meets for a session in Islamabad, Pakistan. Geo Urdu/Files; (Bottom) The Pakistani armed forces during a parade. Geo.tv/Files

  • Critics of Pakistan's armed forces to face two years in jail, fine worth up to Rs500,000 or both, as pernew criminal law amendment bill.
  • National Assembly Standing Committee on Interior passed bill submitted byPTI lawmaker Amjad Ali Khan.
  • The committee's chairperson, Raja Khurram Shahzad Nawaz of the PTI, broke the 5-5 vote tie by voting in favour of the bill.
  • "Criticism in good faith should not be misunderstood. Why are they being made sacred cows," the lawmakers against the bill argued.



ISLAMABAD: Critics of the Pakistan armed forces now face two years in jail as well as fines worth up to Rs500,000, as per a new criminal law amendment bill passed Wednesday by the National AssemblyStanding Committee on Interior.
Submitted by PTI lawmakerAmjad Ali Khan, the bill was approved by a majority. The chairperson of thestanding committee, Raja Khurram Shahzad Nawaz, broke the 5-5 vote tie by voting in favour of the proposed bill.
PPP leaderSyed Agha Rafiullah, as well as the PML-N's Marriyum Aurangzeb and Chaudhry Nadeem Abbas Rebaira, argued against the bill, saying it would be used against freedom of expression in Pakistan.


The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has voted against the bill even though the remaining three provinces were yet to express their views on it, they argued. "It is against our own institutions [and] we stand strong with our institutions.
"However, criticism in good faith should not be misunderstood. Why are they being made sacred cows," they argued further.
Under the criminal law amendment bill, Pakistan's armed forces and their personnel would be free from any deliberate ridicule, insult, and defamation. Those who do so would be punishable under Section 500A of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), with punishment including jail time of two years, a fine of up to Rs500,000 or both.
Furthermore, critics of the Pakistani armed forces would face trial in a civil court, according tothe criminal law amendment bill.

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arjunk

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Mashallah PTI. This totally won't be abused, like the blasphemy law. /s.

This is almost as bad as Indians fining you for 15 million USD and jailing you for 1 year for not including Kashmir in a map of India. There is no clear cut definition for what is constructive criticism and outright defamation.

Now half the posts on PDF will probably be deleted.
 

AgNoStiC MuSliM

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So how are ridicule, insult and defamation defined for the purposes of this law?
I agree - too broad.

In general I have an issue with these kinds of restrictions.

That said, given Pakistan's unique circumstances, there does need to be some kind of control on the allegations of military involvement in politics based solely on rumor mongering. I'm not saying the military has not meddled in politics in the past, but at what point do we agree that the military establishment has taken a hands off approach in domestic politics, even if it continues to influence foreign policy through the proper channels (much as is done in the US)?

In my view these kinds of allegations end up damaging democracy in Pakistan.
 

VCheng

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there does need to be some kind of control on the allegations of military involvement in politics based solely on rumor mongering.
It depends on what kind of control you have in mind, and its implementation, given that everyone should be able to express their personal views as well.
 

Norwegian

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What would Mastan Sir do?
Now half the posts on PDF will probably be deleted.
In my view these kinds of allegations end up damaging democracy in Pakistan.
Bad idea. Another case of creating more problems then it will solve.
I am ok with this law
To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize
- Kevin Alfred Strom
 

arjunk

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There should be healthy debate but Loyalty of Forces and their Love for Country should not be doubted
You are naive to think that this law will be enforced fairly. It will be abused just like the blasphemy law.

Unless we are at war or the country is being crushed by terrorists then this is completely un-necessary. ISI already picks up those who it knows are a serious threat. This law is not needed and will just increase the number of innocent people being wrongly charged. Besides, like other laws, it will not apply to the rich. Look at how Nawaz and co get to walk scot free despite all the venom they spew against the state and COAS himself.
 

ayodhyapati

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You are naive to think that this law will be enforced fairly. It will be abused just like the blasphemy law.

Unless we are at war or the country is being crushed by terrorists then this is completely un-necessary. ISI already picks up those who it knows are a serious threat. This law is not needed and will just increase the number of innocent people being wrongly charged. Besides, like other laws, it will not apply to the rich. Look at how Nawaz and co get to walk scot free despite all the venom they spew against the state and COAS himself.
true .
 

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