Pakistan

ISLAMABAD – The Islamabad High Court has directed the caretaker government on Wednesday to make Raja Zafarul Haq committee’s report on the issue of Election Act 2017, public.

Authored by Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui, the 172-page detailed judgment also contains key points of the report which has been kept under the wraps until now.

Headed by PML veteran leader Raja Zafarul Haq, the committee was formed to probe into objectionable changes pertaining to Khatam-e-Nabuwat (finality of Prophethood) in the Election Act 2017.

What has actually changed in Election Reform Bill 2017?

Mushahidullah Khan and Ahsan Iqbal were the members of the committee and it looked into how the amendment in clause regarding the finality of prophethood was passed.

The said amendment also led to weeks-long sit-in in Islamabad following which then Pakistan Muslim league Nawaz capitulated to the demands of Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP) and sacked law minister, Zahid Hamid.

Elections Bill 2017

In August, following Nawaz Sharif’s disqualification by the Supreme Court, the ECP had informed the PML-N that according to the Political Parties Order 2002, a disqualified MNA cannot hold any position in the party.

According to the bill, every citizen will have the right to be a part of a political party, except those in government service, and will also have the right to form a party.

It enables the ECP to scrutinise election expenses within 90 days, failing which election expenses submitted by a political party would be deemed to be correct.

The bill states that any parliamentarian could only be disqualified for a period of five years and that ECP will be an independent and autonomous body, which will formulate its own law, and party funding details will be available online.

It also restricts the caretaker government from making any policy decisions.

Since the Bill’s ratification, many opposition members have protested against it for different reasons and have announced that they would move the courts against it.