ISLAMABAD – National Assembly on Thursday unanimously adopted amendments to recently passed Elections Act 2017 to restore the clause regarding avowal of Khatm-e-Nabuwwat — the finality of the prophethood of Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) — in its original form.
Federal Law Minister Zahid Hamid presented the bill in the House after the lawmakers on Tuesday had highlighted the change in Form-A, which is submitted by the candidates along with nomination papers for election. After the amendment, it was become a declaration form instead of an affidavit.
On Wednesday, the government and opposition legislators agreed to revive the clause. Addressing a press conference outside the Lower House of the parliament, speaker Ayyaz Sadiq said that after acknowledgement of a mistake, there was nothing wrong in amending it.
He confirmed that a technical or clerical mistake led to the amendment but hastened to add that now after the meeting of parliamentary leader, the issue would be resolved soon.
On the occasion, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi expressed that the issue was sensitive and when opposition highlighted it, it caused an uproar across the country.
He also claimed that now a consensus was reached regarding the revival of clause relating to finality of the prophethood of Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) in its original form, despite the one formulated in Election Bill 2017.
Qureshi maintained that an amendment would be presented tomorrow in this regard.
It bears mentioning that after the Election Bill 2017 sailed through parliament, many in Pakistan pointed out ‘un-Islamic’ amendments in the new Bill, which according to them clash with the provision regarding the finality of Prophethood (as mentioned in Article 62/63).
Under the new Act, signed by the President on Monday, the title of candidate form was changed from “Declaration and Oath by the person nominated” to “declaration by the candidate”.
It bears mentioning that according to local media reports, former Premier Nawaz Sharif had also ordered to restore the clause in original form.