ISLAMABAD: President Mamnoon Hussain on Friday signed the Protection of Pakistan Bill, 2014, into a law, empowering law-enforcement agencies to effectively counter activities of terrorists across the country. The Senate and the National Assembly have already passed the bill. The bill provides for protection against waging of war or insurrection against Pakistan and prevention of acts threatening security of the country.
The law provides unusual powers to army and law-enforcement agencies for operations against those involved in terrorism, extortion and other crimes. After the presidential assent, the bill has now become Protection of Pakistan Act, 2014, which is immediately effective.
Moreover, the act permits security forces to shoot suspects on sight with the permission of a BS-15 official. According to the law, the order to shoot a person on suspicion will come only from an official of a law-enforcement agency or a police officer of BS-15 or above. Based on two presidential ordinances issued in October 2013 and January 2014, the legislation had recently sailed through the parliament and only awaited the presidential assent for coming into effect. On July 2, the National Assembly had passed the legislation with a majority vote in a special one-day session. The legislation was able to make it through both houses of parliament following accommodation of many opposition amendments to what had become the most controversial legislation during Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s one-year tenure on grounds of violation of fundamental rights.
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