Anti-Terrorism Bill Controversy May Deepen In Pakistan

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Context

The government proposed fresh amendments to the pending Anti-Terrorism (Amendment) Bill 2010. The draft has been pending with the Senate Standing Committee on Interior for the past year, and the new amendments might be met with even greater resistance. The amendments propose to enhance the punishment of extortion to 14 years. It further suggests “the applicability of act may be extended to the citizen of Pakistan and person in service of Pakistan where ever they may be, including person on Pakistan flagship and aircraft.” Furthermore, under the amendment, the punishment for enticing public in a religious sermon would also be increased.

It is expected the amendments would face resistance from sympathizers of the militants. There are also worries about the misuse of the enhanced powers in the absence of provision to prevent their abuse.

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