ISLAMABAD - The fast changing political panorama in Pakistan will continue to remain topsy-turvy as no dull day in politics is expected till the next general elections.
A controversy has recently arisen about the signature of the President over the bills to make an ‘act of parliament’. The legal and constitutional debate mostly reached a conclusion that both the bills have become an ‘act of parliament’ and will be affected as per the law of the country. Though this legal debate is almost over, yet some doubts erupted about challenging the law if it would be implemented in future. Some political and constitutional brains viewed that obviously a debate can again be initiated once any big political personality is charged under these laws. With the start of the controversy about the President’s signature on the bill seeking amendments to ‘Official Secrets Act’, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf [PTI] has hinted to challenge it at any stage. Whereas, some senior legal experts believed that challenging the act of parliament will not prove fruitful as ‘the success of challenging is the main test’. “The bill was properly made act of parliament. It was only a dispute between the President and staff and nothing more than that,” said former attorney general Ashtar Ausaf sharing his comment with this newspaper. It may also be worthy to note here that the proposed amendments in the bill, during the legislative process, had sparked controversy which even led to protests from various parties, including the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), and the National Party on it. Some of the senior lawmakers strongly opposed the content of the bill but it sailed through from both the houses. This act of parliament is aimed to amend the existing Official Secrets Act of 1923 in light of the changing social landscape, with the primary goal of ensuring the safety and security of official documents. It may be mentioned here that President Alvi denied signing the Official Secrets (Amendment) Bill, 2023, claiming that his staff “undermined” his orders. “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,” President Alvi said on X, formerly known as Twitter.