Pakistan’s president refuses to sign new national security laws that would give authorities more power to prosecute people for acts against the state and military, a move the law ministry said was unconstitutional.
The bills have already been passed by both houses of Pakistan’s parliament but Alvi is a member of former prime minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, which opposes the coalition government that passed the two bills.
“As the president didn’t sign and return the bill within 10 days, it became a law,” caretaker law minister Ahmad Iran told a news conference.s it will become law.
“As God is my witness, I did not sign Official Secrets Amendment Bill 2023 & Pakistan Army Amendment Bill 2023 as I disagreed with these laws,” Alvi said on X, formerly known as Twitter.
As God is my witness, I did not sign 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 stipulated time to make them ineffective. I confirmed from them many times that…
— Dr. Arif Alvi (@ArifAlvi) August 20, 2023
He said he had asked his staff to return the bills unsigned to the legislature within the stipulated time to make them ineffective.
“However I have found out today that my staff undermined my will and command,” he said.
According to Pakistan’s constitution, if the president doesn’t sign a draft bill or return it back with his observations or objections within 10 days after it has already been through the two houses, it will become law.