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Pakistan Peoples Party, Pakistan Muslim League urge Prez Alvi to step down

Ministry of Law and Justice said a bill is sent to the president under the Constitution's Article 75 and he has two options - either approve it or return it with objections

Arif Alvi, Pak President

Photo: Twitter @arifalvi

ANI Asia
A few hours after Pakistan President Arif Alvi denied signing two crucial bills related to the army and secrets laws on Sunday, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) demanded his resignation, The News International reported.
The News International is an English-language newspaper in Pakistan.
The News International reported that the PPP spokesperson Faisal Karim Kundi termed the incident "unfortunate" and called Alvi an unfit person for the president's post claiming that he did not know what was happening around him.
"I believe that such a person is not fit to remain in the presidency. This person does not know what's happening. He does not even know who has bypassed him," the PPP leader said.
In a statement, PPP Vice President Sherry Rehman said the development raises questions about Alvi's ability to continue as the president.
"Is he trying to say that someone else signed the bills under from under his nose," Rehman wondered, saying that if that's the case, then the president should resign.
As per The News International, in a post on X, PML-N leader and former finance minister Ishaq Dar termed Alvi's statement "unbelievable", calling for his resignation.
"Minimum morality warrants Alvi sb to resign, having failed to run his office effectively, efficiently and as per Rules of Business," the finance minister, whose government's term came to an end earlier this month said.
"Official work is conducted on files and implementation ensured - such statements only indicate playing with the gallery. God help us!" the ex-finance czar said.
In its statement, the Ministry of Law and Justice said a bill is sent to the president under the Constitution's Article 75 and he has two options - either approve it or return it with objections, The News International reported.
"There is no third under Article 75," the ministry said, noting that in the present case, President Alvi did not fulfil his duties under the said article.
Pakistan media reported that the Official Secrets (Amendment) Bill and the Pakistan Army (Amendment) Bill, 2023 were passed and became laws on Sunday after President Arif Alvi signed the bills, but President Alvi said on X that he did not sign the bills as he disagreed with the laws.
"As God is my witness, I did not sign Official Secrets Amendment Bill 2023 & Pakistan Army Amendment Bill 2023 as I disagreed with these laws. I asked my staff to return the bills unsigned within stipulated time to make them ineffective. I confirmed from them many times whether they have been returned & was assured that they were. However I have found out today that my staff undermined my will and command. As Allah knows all, He will forgive IA. But I ask forgiveness from those who will be affected," Pakistan President Arif Alvi wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.
The president tweeted that he asked his staff to return the bills unsigned within the stipulated time to make them ineffective.
He said that he confirmed from his staff times if the bills have been returned and he was assured that they were."However, I have found out today that my staff undermined my will and command," the Pakistan President lamented.
After the approval from the National Assembly, both bills were presented in the Senate. The treasury members criticised the bills, after which the Senate chairman referred the bills to the standing committee, the Express Tribune reported.
Later, some controversial clauses of the two bills were taken out and the bills were re-presented in the Senate. After approval, they were sent to President Alvi for his signature, about which the president claimed that he did not sign the bills.
According to the Official Secrets (Amendment) Bill, a person will be guilty of an offence if he intentionally creates a problem of public order or acts against the state, the Express Tribune reported.
In addition, if a person attacks or damages a prohibited place and the purpose of this is to directly or indirectly benefit the enemy, then it is also punishable.
Under the said amendment bill, the accused will be tried in a special court and a decision will be taken after completing the hearing within 30 days.
The Army Act has provisions relating to the retirement of military personnel, the Express Tribune reported.
According to this law, no military personnel will be able to participate in any political activity for two years after retirement, resignation or dismissal, while military personnel or officers performing duties related to the sensitive nature of duty shall not participate in political activities for five years after termination of service.
A retired army officer found guilty of violating the Army Act will be punished with imprisonment for a term of up to two years. Also, if any serving or retired army personnel scandalises or ridicules the army on digital or social media, he will be punished under the Electronic Crimes Act, the Express Tribune reported.
According to the said law, any serving or retired officer who causes defamation of the army or spreads hatred against it will be punished with imprisonment of two years and a fine under the Army Act.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Aug 20 2023 | 8:04 PM IST

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