IT parliamentary panel releases news where they approved the Cybercrime bill. A meeting held on Friday, the panel took the decision to delay its decision to the electronic Crimes bill 2015, after few government advisers manifested concerns over the latest draft of the Cybercrime bill.
It seems that concerns have been noticed and they pushed the bill approval to be belated until some improvements are done. Captain(R) Muhammad Safdar, the Chairman of National Assembly’s Standing Committee for Information Technology, forwarded the concerns and criticism presented by lawmakers and the general public over the new bill at the meeting.
Khawaja Zaheer Ahmed, Prime Minister’s Special Assistant has conflict with Captain Safdar’s proposal in a confidential public hearing. He said after observing the Civil society’s reservations he has finalized the bill will not be place for approval.
There are few advisors presented severe resistance to his decision but he remained assert at his decision.
I cannot approve this bill in its current form as I have not noticed lacunas earlier and after hearing [those] I’m convinced that there is a need for improvement in the bill.
He suggested that civil society members can discuss the bill in-detail with the IT Ministry officials and propose changes. Captain Safdar requested Lawyer Babar Sattar to help in improving the current draft.
We have already spent three months on this bill and we want to refer it to the speaker. But if he resends it for further deliberation then we again deliberate on this.
Safdar did not extend the deadline despite his decision to defer the bill. He refused the idea of having an open meeting special with Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ). Afzal Butt PFUJ President implied that journalists would stage a protest if the government chooses to ignore their concerns over the controversial bill.
Anusha Rehman, Minister of IT and Telecommunications, stated that the IT Ministry held several meetings with the stakeholders to discuss the achieve a consensus draft bill which was sent to the Prime Minister in February 2014 (Though their definition of stakeholders seems different since the population is the major stakeholder).
She claimed that the draft had been available on the ministry’s website and received no criticism at the time. She said that not all segments of society were part of the forum that decided to defer the bill and that several people who were initially part of the bill’s formation were not in this meeting.