President Arif Alvi denied approving changes to the Official Secrets Act and the Pakistan Army Act, claiming that he was undermined by his own staff. The law ministry, however, asked him to “take responsibility for his own actions”.
“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,” Pakistan President Arif Alvi posted on X Sunday (August 20).
With these words, Alvi triggered one of the most absurd political controversies of all time in Pakistan.
The bills he was referring to, were approved by the Pakistan National Assembly and the Senate a few weeks ago and sent for presidential assent. Alvi was deemed to have given his assent to both of them – the Official Secrets (Amendment) Bill, 2023 with effect from August 17 and the Pakistan Army (Amendment) Bill, 2023 from August 11. But their legal status is now up in the air, in light of the President’s latest comments.