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Sunday, July 14, 2024  
07 Muharram 1446  

Govt ally MQM-P also urge PM Imran to revoke PECA ordinance

IT minister Aminul Haque, in letter to premier, says stakeholders were not taken into confidence before promulgating the ordinance
The federal minister said better amendments could be made in the act with the assistance of experts and organisations representing human rights and media rights. File photo
The federal minister said better amendments could be made in the act with the assistance of experts and organisations representing human rights and media rights. File photo

Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication Syed Aminul Haque, in a letter to Prime Minister Imran Khan, has called for the recovation of the recently promulgated Prevention of Electronic Crimes (Amendment) Ordinance, 2022, reported Aaj News.

Haque, who is part of the government ally MQM-Pakistan, expressed concerns over the backlash on the ordinance by civil society, media representative bodies, lawyers and other sections of society, the federal minister wrote that he did not agree with the amendments made in the ordinance as stakeholders were not taken into confidence before promulgating it.

In his letter he wrote that people were concerned that the amendments did not include the definition of what constitutes fake news.

Under the ordinance, online defamation were made a non-bailable, cognisable offence and the jail term for defamation was increased from three years to five years. It also increased the Federal Investiation Agency's (FIA) domain.

In his letter, the federal minister stated that although his party was an ally of the PTI-led government, the MQM-P has always struggled for basic rights of people, adding that his party would never support laws that violate basic rights.

Haque further wrote that amendments in the act are dangerous for public support to the government and that it is also against the freedom of expression.

He concluded the letter with a hope that the prime minister would consult the stakeholders and media organisations in the matter and issue new amendments in the act.

It is pertinent to mention that the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists had filed a petition in the Islamabad High Court against amendments in PECA, while a separate plea had also been filed in the Lahore High Court against the ordinance.

The ordinance has come under immense criticism from the opposition, journalistic fraternity, civil society as well as on social media.

The IHC in a hearing of the case on Wednesday (today) issued a notice to Attorney General Khalid Javed Khan, seeking a response from him, and restrained the Federal Investigation Agency from making arrests under Section 20 of the ordinance.

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imran khan

Islamabad High Court

Lahore High Court

PECA

Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists

Prevention of Electronic Crimes (Amendment) Ordinance 2022