‘Bill will be withdrawn if it restricts people’s freedom of speech,’ Rana Sanaullah on amendment to FIA law

Following this amendment, the FIA has been given the power to take strict action against such people.

'Bill will be withdrawn if it restricts people's freedom of speech,' Rana Sanaullah on amendment to FIA law

Pakistan’s federal cabinet has approved an amendment, under which those who spread hateful content on social media could be imprisoned for seven years.

Following this amendment, the FIA has been given the power to take strict action against such people. However, the final approval to the amendment will be provided by the parliament. On the other hand, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah has decided to consult journalists and other stakeholders on the amendment. He said that if the amendment causes a restriction on the people’s freedom of speech and expression, then the bill will be withdrawn.

The minister stressed that if the bill is against the freedom of expression, then they will not pass it. He added that people’s personal matters are impacted by social media, which is a very ‘serious matter.’ The issue is extremely important, and the government is hoping that this amendment will not put a halt on the public’s freedom of speech.

PTI approves ordinance

Prior to this, the PTI-led government, under President Arif Alvi, approved an ordinance, under which a five-year sentence was to be given to those who criticised state institutions.

At the time, the Islamabad High Court declared the ordinance ‘unconstitutional,’ and asked the federal government to probe abuse of the law and submit a report.

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