Arif Alvi The Pakistan President Denies Signing Controversial Bills

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Arif Alvi Refuses To Sign The Bill

News Bulletin – 20th August 2023

In a surprising revelation, Pakistan’s President took to Twitter today to deny having signed two controversial bills that were recently passed by the Parliament: the Official Secrets Amendment Bill 2023 and the Pakistan Army Amendment Bill 2023. The President’s tweet expressed his disagreement with the laws and claimed that he had instructed his staff to return the bills unsigned within the stipulated time frame to render them ineffective. However, he revealed that his staff had not followed his orders and instead, went ahead with the approval of the bills.

In his tweet, the President wrote, “As God is my witness, I did not sign the 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 the 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.”

The two bills have been widely criticized by opposition parties and civil rights activists. The Official Secrets Amendment Bill 2023, which seeks to tighten restrictions on the sharing of confidential information, has been criticized for curbing freedom of the press. The Pakistan Army Amendment Bill 2023, which proposes changes to the powers and functioning of the Pakistan Army, has also raised concerns about a shift in the balance of power.

The President’s revelation of non-consent to the bills has sparked a wave of reactions from political leaders and the general public. The responses from the caretaker Government is ludicrous, they are refuting the elected president.

It remains to be seen what actions will be taken in the wake of the President’s claim, and whether the bills in question will be reconsidered or remain enforced as they stand. The incident has also raised concerns about the governance process in Pakistan and the credibility of official communications.

Here are the details of the whole process of how a bill becomes law

 

When the parliament passes a bill, it is sent to the President for approval.

The President has two options:

  1. Approve the bill. It then becomes law.
  2. Reject the bill.

If the President rejects the bill, it is sent back to Parliament for reconsideration. It’s important to note that there is no automatic approval at this stage. The bill must be signed by the President to be approved.

At this point, the parliament has two options:

  1. Make changes as suggested by the President and pass the bill again, in a joint session through the Senate and National Assembly.
  2. Don’t make any changes and pass the same bill again in a joint session through the Senate and National Assembly.

In both cases, the bill is sent back to the President for approval. This is the second time the bill is sent to the President for approval.

The President now has 10 days to approve the bill. He can’t ask the parliament to reconsider it again. If the President doesn’t approve it this time, the bill is automatically approved.

In the current situation, the President sending the bill back to parliament is very significant because:

The National Assembly has been dissolved, and there is no working parliament to pass the bills again and send them to the President for approval.

So a returned bill won’t become law until after the new elections when the new National Assembly is sworn in and passes the bill again.

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