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Snooping in on talk: ‘Fair trial’ bill


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Pakistan’s National Assembly on Thursday, December 20, 2012, passed a controversial legislative bill which if signed into law, will authorise the state to intercept private communications in order to catch terrorists.

According to the report, “The legislation allows security agencies to tap people’s phone calls and intercept other private communications in order to catch terrorists. The government claims that existing laws neither comprehensively provide for nor specifically regulate use of advanced and modern investigative techniques such as covert surveillance and human intelligence, property interference, wire tapping and communication interception that are used extensively in other countries, including the US, the UK and India.”

Do you think this method will be used ethically and fairly in Pakistan? What about the basic right to privacy? Will it actually ease the process of capturing terrorists or all the more force them to hide under the radar?

Comments (14) Closed

Ahmed j Dec 21, 2012 09:55am
A country where there is a serious issue of missing persons. A mis-sold mobile sim can be taken as an act of terrorism. A Dogar court can run a judiciary. Army dictator is living a comfortable life. Where there are no implementation on Privacy Laws and personal details of vast NADRA database are already made visible to foreign agencies. Pakistan has also out-sourced its NADRA official work to a UK based private company. There is no legislation on Data Protection Law which governs the protection of fundamental rights and freedom and in particular their right to privacy with respect to the processing of personal data. Our police and the agencies are the people who enjoy watching cheap Indian/punjabi films and substandard theatre shows. Would they be handling and tracing private lives of anyone. One can be sure that with such a character and moral values, would they be following the law professionally? Police who are capable of creating evidence before a crime is created, for sure this nation is not ready for this kind of a law. This law is unIslamic as well and goes against the teachings of Surah Ahzab which teaches us personal privacy and its respect. I will be happy, if this law is challenged in courts and overturned.
Farooq Ali Dec 21, 2012 04:30am
Govt. already has this power no need to make a law i think no court will ever question investigation agencies in nabbing terrorist on this count . What needed is an honest and intelligent police net work.
Tariq Malik Dec 22, 2012 12:43am
First Honest and intelligent leadership.
NASAH (USA) Dec 22, 2012 12:47am
It will be like asking the fox to guard the chicken coup.
Mujeeb Dec 22, 2012 05:20am
Sadly, the GOP is lacking in the very basic elements that any working system requires vis. honesty and dedication. Given the current mindset (sad but true) this bill will only serve to enhance blackmail and harassment of the already beaten down public. All laws, tools and means exist to capture ANYONE be it terrorist or any other culprit, the only thing lacking is the will to carry it out and sustain it in complete honesty. If only the GOP would come to its senses. . . .
Ali Dec 30, 2012 03:27am
Can the government see our video conversations on skype as well?
yaqub Dec 22, 2012 08:49am
this is an overdue law bill,and should have been brought in decades ago.terrorism sectarianism kidnapping,corruption,can and will be reduced,the perpetrators who are brought in by the law enforcement agency's,most of the time walk scot free.because of lack of evidence,the people from all walks of life.need policing we are all aware ,pakistani awaam are very unruly.and need a strong hand over them. i sincerely hope this bill goes through. .
Zohair Dec 22, 2012 09:10am
This law requires amendments to ensure that it is applied in a way that it is used against suspects very judiciously and also the most dangerous part is the eligibility of email and cell phone data to be used as evidence. It is used in the United States and Europe but at the same time you have to have the same type of technologies available to the defendants lawyers. The agencies concerned are already using all these techniques, what is needed is the focus to be shifted towards elimination of terrorism. The way the agencies tap the phones of politicians, political activists and journalists, they would perform better and produce better results if they focus on their real mandate. This country was created through a democratic process by politicians and will grow and prosper only through a process of national dialog and consensus building processes. This is not the prerogative of intelligence agencies to decide as to who should form the next government and to whom the electables be joining.. This country has to return to the path laid down by the Great Quaid and that was not the path of being a security state that we have become. All the nations of the world have national security concerns as we do but this does not mean that 180 million people of this country should live below the poverty line (70%) and most of our kids can not go to school, we do not have clean drinking water even in cities Lahore, we have no protection for life and property of our people.
Tahira, USA Dec 23, 2012 04:20pm
Sorry if past is a good indicator, there is zero possibility of ethical and fair implementation of any rule that will not fill some rich man's pockets. This is one such rule.
Muskan Dec 23, 2012 03:58pm
I think this method will not be used fairly and ethically . There is urgent need to strengthen and reform the investigation system. Investigation is all defective and flawed one. Law is good to be accepted,but there is clear possibility of its misuse. If it is used in a good way,then it is a good statute to be accepted and implemented. we need good conscience than such laws for our uplift and betterment.
mehmoona Dec 22, 2012 06:58pm
it never ever be used will be used to settle petty personal disputes and grievienaces like all the black marks on our governing system this will be one more
Javeed Dec 23, 2012 09:19pm
With the prevalent law and order situation. I think something of this nature in the hand of the corrupt law enforcement agencies would be a disasterous to the public and one more weapon that would mostly like be manipulated for the betterment of the selected few and for enslaving and abusing the public.
khanm Dec 24, 2012 11:05am
Where ever there is a will there is way. No matter what bill we pass it will not make any difference because we don
Tawheed Dec 24, 2012 03:21am
"Who will guard the guards"........