ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) secretary information Marriyum Aurangzeb rejected the amendment to the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, 2016 (PECA) through a presidential ordinance, saying that Prime Minister Imran Khan has brought the “draconian and black law” allegedly to enslave 220 million people of Pakistan.

Speaking at a news conference, the PML-N spokesperson also announced that her party would challenge the “black law” inside and outside the parliament, the Supreme Court and the High Court.

She said that party’s Senator Azam Nazir Tarar was taking a detailed look at the ordinance after which appropriate actions would be taken. “These black laws are against the Constitution, national and international laws related to media and human rights,” she added.

Under this “black law”, she added that first of all, action should be taken against Imran Khan, members of his cabinet and his “rented mouthpieces” for propagating “fake news and false allegations” against the opposition every single day. “They should be arrested and sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment”, she added.

She maintained that these “black laws” are an expression of Imran Khan’s alleged hatred and “tyrant” mindset against journalists who speak truth to power and political opponents, “because he cannot take criticism.”

“History is a witness to the fact that those who make such oppressive laws were the ones who were strangled by them. The more Imran Khan tries to suppress the voices of truth, the more they will intensify, the backlash would increase and eventually these same black rules will put Imran in jail,” she warned.

She said that the biggest problems of the people are inflation, unemployment, economic strife, and the government’s corruption. “Such oppressive laws would not stop this criticism because people were suffering every hour of every day under this imposed PTI regime,” she added.

She also claimed that PTI’s own members, who are not in a position to face the people of their constituency, are bringing the no-confidence motion, in collaboration with all political parties including the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM).

She said the preparations for the no-confidence motion have been completed, and it would be brought in due course. Aurangzeb claimed that her statement about the phone calls allegedly receiving by lawmakers from Peshawar “is very clear, concise and detailed”.

“It’s, therefore, important that this practice must stop otherwise PML-N will mention names of the people involved in the telephone calls through a press conference,” she warned.

She said that several provisions of the PECA law had been imposed on 22 crore people of Pakistan including the media, civil society and everyone. Most of all, this law should be read by those who chanted slogans of change. Who chanted slogans to make Pakistan, State of Madinah. It is very important for every Pakistani to study it [the PECA law], so that they understand the despotic and tyrannical ambitions of Imran, she stressed. She said this law was not only against the constitution of Pakistan and its right to freedom of expression but also against international law and human rights. It was a violation of every law that strengthens freedom of expression.

Speaking further about the PECA law, she maintained that the law is aimed at choking the entire nation to prevent them from speaking the truth about Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Referring to the amendment made in section 43A of 1A, she said that it has been declared as a non-bailable offence to criticise any institution which has been created by the government or falls under its category.

“An amendment has also been made regarding fake news. In other words, if anyone says that fake news has been aired about them in some programme of some news channel, the FIA will be authorised to take action against the person,” she said, adding that they would not even need permission from the magistrate to arrest him.

She further stated that there is no definition of fake news in this black draconian law. “It has nothing to do with internationally acclaimed fake news, including corrigendum, apologies, and penalties,” she added.

“Imran Khan had got published false news against Shehbaz Sharif in the British newspaper. Shehbaz had filed a defamation suit against Imran for making false allegations in the Panama case. It has been four to five years but he hadn’t even submitted a reply,” she claimed.

She added that over the past three and a half years, people in the media have been shot, kidnapped, and tortured, the latest example was of Mohsin Baig. “These black laws are being imposed to cover up for such actions,” she added.

“Can Imran Khan put 220 million people in jail? Does he have the resources?” she asked, adding that PM Khan was being criticised in every street, in every neighbourhood, in every city because the people have no food, no money to buy medicine, or to even pay rent.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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