Pakistani ruling party lawmakers are trying to criminalize criticism of the military

According to records posted on the parliament's website on Wednesday, a Pakistani ruling party parliamentarian has tried to send to jail an army that "mocks or defames or defames anyone".

Pakistani ruling party lawmakers are trying to criminalize criticism of the military

Civil rights groups and opposition parties have long said the military interferes in politics and has supported crackdowns on critical voices, an allegation the military denies.

"The amendment is aimed at curbing hate and degrading treatment of the armed forces," said Amjad Ali Khan, chairman of the parliament's standing committee on defense.

The bill imposes imprisonment for up to two years and a fine of up to Rs 500,000 ($ 3,012.59).

Information Minister Shibli Faraz did not respond to a request for comment.

The ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party has a simple majority in the lower house of parliament but not in the upper house where it cannot legislate without the support of the opposition.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz Opposition Senator Pervez Rashid said, "If the powerful circles intend to pass it and make it a law, they will do it." "I'm afraid it will be misused."

Reema Omer of the International Commission of Jurists, a South Asian legal expert, said the move was unnecessary because the constitution already guarantees the sanctity of the armed forces.

The introduction of the bill is in line with the controversy over the reporting of allegations by Pakistani news website Fact Fox that a former general, Asim Saleem Bajwa, as a special adviser to Prime Minister Imran Khan, in June had embezzled millions of dollars in family assets. Did not announce

Bajwa denies the allegations. After retiring last year, Bajwa also became chairman of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

Last week, police arrested a journalist accused of defaming the army Police also registered cases against two other journalists for defaming the army.

($ 1 = 165.9700 Pakistani Rupees)


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