The government’s attempt to force the controversial Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill 2015 (PECB) through the National Assembly this week is likely to face resistance from members of the opposition.
Last week, the bill was listed twice on the assembly’s agenda. But since the Panama Papers dominated the debate, the bill could not be presented. It is now expected that Minister for Information Technology Anusha Rahaman will move the bill in the NA this week.
However, opposition parties, including the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM), have hinted at resisting the bill.
Slamming the government for trying to rush the bill, PPP MNA Shazia Marri argued that the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) cannot be given the right to interpret the Constitution.
MQM MNA Ali Raza Abidi, who was also part of the NA Standing Committee on IT, said his party intends to demand a public hearing on the bill which would invite stakeholders such as industry representatives, IT professionals and NGOs to offer their views.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 11th, 2016.