The two bills still lying in president’s office, says secretary

President neither assented to Official Secrets (Amendment) Bill and Pakistan Army (Amendment) Bill nor gave a written decision for returning them to parliament for reconsideration.

ISLAMABAD: Hours after his removal’s request as secretary to the president, Waqar Ahmed has issued a statement saying President Dr Arif Alvi neither assented to the Official Secrets (Amendment) Bill, 2023, and the Pakistan Army (Amendment) Bill, 2023 nor gave a written decision for returning them to parliament for reconsideration.

Earlier today, the president sought the removal of his secretary, saying his services are “no more required” and are surrendered to the Establishment Division with immediate effect.

In a letter sent to the president, Ahmed stated that the Pakistan Army (Amendment) Bill was received on August 2 and sent to the president on August 3. President Alvi, he added, had the 10-day time to advise on the bill till August 11.

“The Honourable President neither assented to the Bill nor gave a written decision for returning the Bill for reconsideration by the Parliament. The said file has not been returned to the Office of Secretary to date i.e. 21.08-2023,” the letter stated.

Meanwhile, the Official Secrets (Amendment) Bill was received on August 8 and was moved to the president’s office on August 9.

“It was clearly stated in the Note that the Prime Minister’s advice was received on 08-08-2023 and time of 10 days will be completed on 17.08.2023 (Thursday),” the letter also stated. However, the letter added that the president neither assented to the bill nor gave a written decision for returning the bill for reconsideration by parliament.

The secretary further said that he “neither delayed above mentioned two bills nor committed any irregularity or negligence”. He added that the files of the bills are still lying in the President’s Office as of today (August 21). He said the president’s decision for the surrender of his services is not based on justice.

“I request that the Honourable President may kindly order an inquiry by FIA (Federal Investigation Agency) or any other Agency to probe the facts and fix the responsibility for any lapse if committed by any officer or official,” he said. Ahmed said he would present himself in court if it is needed to prove his innocence.

“It is requested that U.O. dated 21-08-2023 regarding surrendering of my services to the Establishment Division may kindly be withdrawn,” he added.

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