In a stunning revelation, ProPakistani has learned that only 30 out of 342 National Assembly members were present for the vote on the critical Cyber Crime Bill.
The Bill, which has far reaching effects for virtually all internet users in Pakistan and has been the target of intense debate and criticism, apparently isn’t important enough for most of our parliamentarians. Nor the speaker, who wasn’t present either.
In a democracy, these people are the ones who represent the interests of the people. We, along with other publications, digital rights activists and human rights organizations, have made our objections crystal clear.
Despite that, almost none of the 205 objections raised via feedback were addressed in the Bill. The members of the Senate Standing Committee didn’t even get to read the final draft of the Bill before it passed through to the National Assembly. And when the crucial time came for our government representatives to do their job, they didn’t even bother to show up.
For the Bill to pass, a simple majority of 16 NA members (of the 30 present) was required
This is beyond shameful and we need to wake up as a nation and hold these people accountable. The Cyber Crime Bill is draconian and has the potential to stifle free speech, oppress dissenting opinion and make a police state out of our internet.
In fact, I doubt we’d be able to publish such a critical post when it becomes law, something we’ve learned that might very well happen despite the media previously intimating that passing it through the Senate might be a hurdle.
The fact is that this piece of legislation is going to become law and inept politicians are too lazy to even show up and vote on it. It’s dereliction of duty and borders on criminal negligence. It wasn’t enough for out politicians to be corrupt only, now they’ve shown they are lazy and corrupt.