Election Law was enacted with consensus of all parties: Ahsan Iqbal

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APP46-06 ISLAMABAD: October 06 – Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal along with Law Minister Zahid Hamid and Barrister Zaffarullah jointly addressing a press conference at PID Media Centre. APP photo by Afzaal Chaudhry

ISLAMABAD, Oct 6 (APP): Minister for Interior Ahsan Iqbal
Friday said new Election Law was enacted with consensus of all major parties in the Parliament, however now nomination form had again been restored to its original form so that nobody could even create a doubt about the religious beliefs of others.
Speaking at a press conference along with Minister for Law
Zahid Hamid and Adviser to Prime Minister, Barrister Zafarullah, he
said nomination form for elections was changed with the consensus of
parties in the Parliament.
“Now we restored the nomination form to its original shape so
that nobody could create doubts.”
Ahsan said three years back the process for electoral reforms
was started in the Parliament and the parliamentary committee
comprising members of all the political parties participated in the
legislation process.
The legislation went through the sub-committee and then the
main committee of the Parliament, he said adding afterwards, the
report was laid before the house after seeking suggestions from the
public.
He said for the first time, a JUI-F Senator Hafiz Hamdullah
raised the point that the original nomination form should be
restored and PML-N government supported his suggestion.
But members of other parties in the Senate did not approve the
amendment in the nomination form, he added.
“We are all Muslims and for every Pakistani Muslim finality of
prophethood was part of our faith.”
He said it was unfortunate that some groups on social media
tried to spread hate, get political mileage and create controversy
about the nomination form for elections.
The minister said, “I gave policy statement on the floor of
the National Assembly that some people were trying to create hate or
misunderstanding and they should be countered.”
The minister said only state had the authority to declare
anyone Muslim or Non-Muslim.
In the past, Qadianis were declared Muslims through the
Parliament and Constitution, he mentioned.
He said only the state could determine punishment or pardon
for any person and nobody else could do it.
The minister said, “issuing religious edicts in the street
would only create anarchy and then we will not need terrorists to
create chaos in the society.”
He said some elements wanted to provoke religious sentiments
and the religious scholars should play their role so sanity should prevail in society.
He said in an Islamic state, only state will decide against
whom Jihad could be done.
He said it was vision of Quaid-e-Azam that every Pakistani
should live without fear and according to his religious beliefs.
“Diversity of Pakistan was its strength and it made Pakistani
society beautiful. Allah has to decide who will go to paradise and who will go to hell.”
“Nobody has monopoly on love for Allah and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH),” he remarked.
He said no government could think of taking any step which was contrary to Islam.
The minister said a cyber crime law existed and law would move against a person who would try to create hate against other Muslims.

Ahsan Iqbal said in the constitution of Pakistan, articles
about Islam were very clear.
He said some elements know that they could not defeat Pakistan
Muslim League (N) in elections so they were trying to create
differences between his party and the army.
He said he wanted to say on record that conspiracies were
being hatched against Pakistan by foreign forces, particularly those
who were not happy that Pakistan was a nuclear power.
“People in Pakistan need to keep unity and solidarity to foil
conspiracies of the enemies.”
Ahsan Iqbal said Pakistan has to compete with the world in economic
field so people should stop paying attention to political pundits
and doomsayers.
Ahsan Iqbal said the incident of Accountability Court was
unfortunate and its investigation was continuing and he would look
at the report and will inform the public about it.
To a question, Ahsan said Pakistan would only move forward if
constitutional governance was ensured.
He rejected the idea of government of technocrats and said
these people could not even win the election of union council and
were only looking for jobs by coming into the government through
backdoors but they would not be successful.
“Whenever Pakistan loses its path to democracy then it
suffers. Our only path should be democracy and constitutional rule.”
He said the present government would complete its tenure then election would be held in 2018.
Anchors sitting on television were trying to create artificial
crises and always tried to create impression that conditions were
not good in Pakistan, he observed.
The minister said situation in Pakistan in 2017 was better
than it was in 2013.
Law Minister Zahid Hamid said the sub committee and main
committee of Parliament comprising all parties took part in the legislation for electoral reforms.
He said the main committee consisted of 34 members and the sub committee had 13 members and the whole process was transparent and suggestions were also sought from the public and the bill was also put on website.
He explained that the parliamentary committee on
accountability law was also represented by all parties.
He said the parties still need to develop consensus on the
draft of the accountability bill.
To another question, the minister said it was recorded in the
minutes that the parliamentary committee on 17 November, 2014, approved the clause 203 of Election bill.
Adviser to Prime Minister Barrister Zafarullah said finality
of Prophethood was the basis of Islam.
He said Pakistan Muslim League (N) was a religious party and
for it, issues concerning Islam were very sensitive.