ISLAMABAD – The federal government on Tuesday submitted a probe report on changes in the Finality of Prophethood oath in the Constitution in a sealed envelop to the Islamabad High Court (IHC).
Hearing a case regarding the Faizabad sit-in, Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui expressed anger over not submitting the report of Raja Zafarul Haq-led committee that had investigated the change made in the Khatm-e-Nubuwwat declaration in the recently passed Election Bill 2017.
The judge has ordered the federal government to submit the report till 1pm today. The judge also warned that Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi will be called in person on not submission of the report.
Justice Siddiqui remarked that the federal government was not taking the orders of the high court seriously. Referring to Khatm-e-Nubuwwat matter, he said: “We should understand the sensitivity of the issue”.
A counsel for the government argued that PM Abbasi has no link with this report, therefore, he should not be summoned.
To which, Justice Siddiqui said that how he (PM) has no link with this investigation report as he is the chief executive of the country.
At the last hearing on Feb 12, the IHC had warned the federal government that contempt of court notices would be served on the prime minister, law, interior and religious affairs ministers if the report was not presented.
Election Bill 2017
The National Assembly had passed an amendment to the Election Act, 2017, which was aimed at changing the eligibility criteria for a political party head, but it also amended the subject of the Finality of Prophethood or Khatm-e-Nubuwwat.
The manipulation, which was initially dubbed a clerical mistake by the speaker of national assembly triggered a protest by the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) which staged a 21-day-long sit-in at Faizabad Interchange.
The protesters forced the government to seek the resignation of the then law minister Zahid Hamid after the government operation to break up the sit-in failed under mysterious circumstances.
The election act was later restored in its original form regarding the Khatm-e-Nubuwwat clause, however, the amendment regarding political party head remained intact, that paved way for former Premier Nawaz Sharif to become president of Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz.