Protection of Pakistan Act (PPA) is violating fundamental rights and some salutary principles of criminal jurisprudence. According to PPA, law enforcement agencies have been given ‘license to kill’ (shoot at sight) after giving a ‘sufficient warning’. One shudders to think who will standardize ‘sufficient warning’? Moreover, law enforcement agencies will not be liable for ‘any action’ done in good faith. Is it not giving them protection and the power to kill anyone? With the most corrupt police force in the world, issuing such high charged weapons into their hands it is asking for mass genocide!

Furthermore, the accused will not be entitled to the benefit of doubt, which is a blatant violation of the cardinal and universally accepted notion of ‘Burden of Proof’. Surprisingly, some conducts (long march, strikes or to sit in etc) against government have been termed as offences against the state.However, they are not against the state but a government and its wrong policies. Preventive detention for ninety days and minimum quantum of punishment for ten years also comes under scathing criticism.

This smells more of Rowlett Act, 1918 which the British came up with to quell terrorism. The later acts such as Terrorist and Disruptive Areas Act (TADA, 1987) and the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA, 2002) were all misused and later done away with. It is time the government tunes down PPA. There is no denying the fact that we are facing extraordinary situations which require extra-ordinary solutions but it does not mean to take away fundamental rights of our citizens.

MUHAMMAD WAJID MUNIR,

Islamabad, July 15.