Pakistan has approved a stricter law on religion-related terrorism, including sentences increased to life in prison for convictions of such offenses. The new law, which amends the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1997, also gives authorities greater power in halting attacks, allowing the seizure of passports of those suspected of religious terrorism. Pakistan's lower house of parliament approved the bill Monday, and it is expected to pass the upper house with little trouble. The stricter regulations come as a response to increased violence between Sunni and Shi'ite Muslim extremists. Opposition party members were not present during the vote, as many were participating in a walkout protest over new law that allows President Musharraf to remain in his dual role as head of the military. Depaul Law School has more on Pakistan's anti-terror regulations [PDF]. From Pakistan, the Daily Times has local coverage. VOA News has more.