Electoral Code of Conduct Changed, Declaring Disrespect on Social Media a Punishable Crime

Proposed laws to change the code of conduct for elections in Pakistan and to make it a punishable offense to 'dishonor' people on social media have been sent to the Federal Cabinet for approval.

On Saturday, Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry confirmed that drafts of the proposed laws have been sent to the federal cabinet.

"Two important laws have been sent to the federal cabinet for approval," he wrote in a Twitter message. Under the first law, parliamentarians are allowed to participate in election campaigns, while under the second law, insulting people on social media is a punishable offense.

According to Fawad Chaudhry, the new rules "oblige the courts to make a decision within six months."

Earlier, local media reported that the federal government had decided to make criticism of institutions an inviolable police crime.

Media reports said that the government has approved amendments to the Prevention of Electronic Crime Act 2016.

According to reports, after the amendment in the act, action will be taken against those who run hate campaigns against the judiciary, army and other institutions. However, Fawad Chaudhry did not specify in his tweet whether the proposed law sent to the cabinet was for amending the PKK.

Reports say the proposed amendment would penalize critics of the institutions by three to five years.

According to him, an ordinance amending the Prevention of Electronic Crime Act will be issued soon.

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