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Former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairperson Imran Khan challenged amendments made to the Official Secrets Act and Pakistan Army Act in the Supreme Court (SC) on Saturday, Aaj News reported.

A petition was filed by Advocate Shohaib Shaheen on behalf of the PTI chairperson against recent changes to the Army Act 1952.

According to the petition, the new clauses violate human rights.

In the petition, Dr Arif Alvi, the Government of Pakistan, and the National Assembly are listed as respondents, asking the court to declare the amendments in both laws unconstitutional and annul them.

Last month, in a shocking and troubling revelation, President Dr Arif Alvi said that he “did not sign the Official Secrets Amendment Bill 2023 and Pakistan Army Amendment Bill 2023” because he disagreed with these laws.

The president claimed that the staff undermined his “command and will.”

“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 posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.

In response to President Alvi’s post, the Ministry of Law and Justice stated that it is an issue of “grave concern,“ adding that if he “had any observations, he could have returned the bills with his observations like he did in the recent and distant past.”

The president’s decision to tweet was questioned in the press release, which stated that “he could have also issued a press release to that effect.”

In response to President Alvi’s post, the Ministry of Law and Justice stated that it is an issue of “grave concern,“ adding that if he “had any observations, he could have returned the bills with his observations like he did in the recent and distant past.”

The president’s decision to tweet was questioned in the press release, which stated that “he could have also issued a press release to that effect.”

The bills have been criticised by lawmakers and referred to as draconian, with several provisions not discussed by relevant committees.

The bill “Pakistan Army (Amendment) Act, 2023” says that those who disclose information against the interests of the country or the army will be dealt with under the Official Secrets Act and the Army Act.

It proposes up to five years in jail for anyone who discloses sensitive information regarding the security of the country or the army.

The bill proposes introducing Section 26-B, which forbids any person subject to the Army Act from engaging in any kind of political activity for two years from the date of their “retirement, release, resignation, discharge, removal or dismissal from the service”.

The bill also proposes introducing Sections 55-A (conflict of interest), 55-B (electronic crimes), and 55-C (defamation).

Section 55-B says that any person who commits an offence under the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (Peca), 2016 “with the malafide intention to undermine, ridicule, or scandalize the armed forces of Pakistan,” shall be punished in the manner prescribed in the Peca law.

As per Section 55-C, a person subject to the Army Act, who “ridicules, scandalises, brings into hatred or otherwise attempts to lower the armed forces of Pakistan or any part thereof in the estimation of others shall […] be punished with imprisonment which may extend to two years or fine or with both.”

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