ISLAMABAD – As the dispute over the signing of laws pertaining to the Official Secrets Act and the Army Act has heated up, President Dr. Arif Alvi turned over his secretary Waqar Ahmed’s services to the Establishment Division on Monday.
“In view of the definite statement of yesterday, President’s Secretariat has written a letter to Principal Secretary to Prime Minister that the services of Mr. Waqar Ahmed, Secretary to President, are no longer required and are surrendered to the Establishment Division, immediately,” the president wrote in a post about the development on social media platform X, formerly Twitter.
In addition, he requested that Humaira Ahmed, a BPS-22 Pakistan Administrative Service official, be appointed as the president’s secretary.
President Alvi had previously stated that he had not signed the Pakistan Army Amendment Bill 2023 and the Official Secrets Amendment Bill 2023 because he did not agree with them.
The president claimed on social media site X, formerly known as Twitter, that he had instructed his staff to return the bills unsigned within the allotted period in order to render them ineffectual.
“I repeatedly asked them whether they had been returned and was given the assurance that they had. The president said, “However, I learned today that my staff subverted my will and command.
The announcement follows news that both legislation have been officially signed into law by the president.
The Pakistan Army (Amendment) Bill, 2023, which aims to punish people with a maximum five-year jail sentence for exposing sensitive information about national security or the armed services, was passed by the National Assembly on July 31.
Separately, the Official Secrets Act received approval from the Lower House just a few days before the National Assembly was dissolved on August 7.