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PTI forms commission to probe its senators’ role in approval of Army Act amendments



Former Pakistan´s Prime Minister Imran Khan gestures as he speaks during an interview with AFP at his residence in Lahore on May 18, 2023. —AFP
  • PTI to take disciplinary action against dissident senators.
  • Senator Faraz-led one-member commission will probe the matter.
  • In light of his recommendations, the party will take action.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Saturday announced taking action against its Senators found “guilty” of voting for the recently-passed Pakistan Army (Amendment) Bill, 2023, which proposes up to five years imprisonment for anyone who discloses sensitive information pertaining to the army or maligns the armed forces in any way.

The upper house of parliament on July 27 approved the bill to amend the Pakistan Army Act, 1952, seeking stern action against those who disclose sensitive information about the country’s security or the armed forces, with a majority vote.

The development came after PTI’s core committee meeting held with party chief Imran Khan in chair earlier today. 

The core committee meeting decided to take disciplinary action against those lawmakers “found guilty of deviating from the party policy in connection with the approval of the Army Act in the Senate,” read the statement issued by the PTI.

Taking to Twitter, the former ruling party announced that Senator Shibli Faraz-led one-member commission will launch its probe immediately into the role of PTI’s senators in the approval of the bill and will present its recommendations to the party chairman.

In light of the recommendations of the commission, disciplinary action will be taken against those found guilty of deviating from the party line, the statement added.

Matters related to the prevailing political situation in the country, preparations for the next general elections, the party’s political strategy, and other issues were also discussed in the core committee meeting.

Moved by Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, the bill titled “Pakistan Army (Amendment) Act, 2023″ stated those who disclose information against the interests of the country or the Pakistan Army will be dealt with under the Official Secrets Act and the Army Act.

“If any person, who is or has been subject to this Act, discloses or causes to be disclosed any information, acquired in an official capacity, which is or may be prejudicial to the security and interest of Pakistan or the Armed Forces of Pakistan, shall be guilty of an offence, and on conviction by the court constituted under this Act, be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term which may extend to five years,” the bill reads.

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Senator Mian Raza Rabbani had staged a walkout from the house, terming the approval of multiple bills in a day as “blind legislation”.

Rabbani said that the manner in which the bills were passed today is a “dark day” and added that these are very important bills but the members got these today.

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