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Pakistan Opposition plans to seek repeal of ‘black law’ against media


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The opposition parties in Pakistan have decided to table a resolution in Parliament, seeking to repeal the “black law” against the media, local media reported.

Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PMLN) President and Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif said on Monday that the joint opposition has resolved to seek repeal of the Pakistan Electronic Crimes Act (Peca) amendment ordinance under Rule 145, The News International reported.

If a resolution is tabled in a joint sitting of parliament to repeal an ordinance, after approval by the House, the ordinance can be repealed, the media outlet reported citing the regulation.

Terming the media law an exhibition of “authoritarian, fascist and undemocratic” thinking of the Imran Khan government, Sharif supported the decision of the media joint action committee to challenge the Peca amendment ordinance in the court.

The media was a mirror in which the rulers could see their faces, so they should correct their facial features instead of removing the mirror, the publication quoted Sharif who added that the Imran Khan government is trying to force punishments, imprisonment and fines through the black law violating the constitutional freedom of access to information.

The PMLN president further said that the law being passed through the back door in the shape of an ordinance shows malicious intentions of the Imran Khan government.

Meanwhile, media persons across Pakistan observed a black day against the Peca ordinance to protest against the draconian law trying to stifle the voice of dissent, according to the Pakistani newspaper.

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 Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) as it gives it powers to arrest anyone and put them in jail till the conclusion of the trial.

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