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Pakistan: Opposition condemns draconian law, says Imran govt trying to muzzle dissent

ANI | Updated: Feb 27, 2022 16:54 IST


Khyber Pakhtunkhwa [Pakistan], February 27 (ANI): Awami National Party has joined the Pakistan Opposition party Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and slammed the Imran Khan government for promulgating the Prevention of Electronic Crimes (Amendment) Act ordinance 2022 and said it was aimed at muzzling dissent.
Awami National Party provincial president Aimal Wali Khan on Saturday, while addressing families joining the party, criticised the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government for bypassing parliament while issuing ordinances.
Calling the government 'incompetent', he further said that ANP will join PPP in the long protest march against inflation on March 9.
Not only this, the ANP leader accused the ruling government, holding it accountable for the economic backwardness of Pakhtuns. He said decades of war in Afghanistan had pushed the Pakhtuns deep into economic backwardness.

Aimal Wali said Afghanistan and Pakhtun regions in Pakistan had remained in turmoil for the last 50 years, further weakening their economic position, reported Dawn.
Notably, along with media bodies and superior bar councils, opposition parties Pakistan People's Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) had filed petitions against the PECA ordinance.
PECA ordinance gives Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) powers to arrest anyone and put them in jail till the conclusion of the trial, the judge said, adding, "The court has no hesitation in saying that the ordinance is a draconian law."
Under the PECA Ordinance 2022, online defamation has been made a non-bailable, cognizable offence and the jail term for it has also been increased from three years to five years. The amendment has also broadened the ambit of the FIA.
Terming the amendments to media law in Pakistan "oppressive and draconian", Islamabad high court (IHC) has restrained the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) from arresting anyone without full implementation of its standard operating procedures (SOPs) till March 10, local media reported. (ANI)

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