Incumbent parliament not to allow any change in clause about Finality of Prophethood: Zahid

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ISLAMABAD, Oct 3 (APP): Minister for Law and Justice Zahid Hamid
Tuesday strongly rejected the claim of opposition parties of removing
the clause about the Finality of Prophethood (Khatm-e-Nabuwat) from
the Elections Bill 2017.
Speaking on a point of order in the National Assembly, the minister
said,”We cannot even think of bringing any amendment in the clause pertaining to the Finality of Prophethood. How one can blame an ideological party for bringing such an amendment.”
He read out the clauses from old and new bills, which were completely
identical. The clauses say: “I believe in the absolute and unqualified Finality of the Prophethood of Muhammad (Peace be Upon Him), the last of
the prophets and that I am not follower of anyone who claims to be a
prophet in any sense of the world or of any description whatsoever
after Prophet Muhammad ( Peace Be Upon Him), and I do not recognize such
a claimant to the prophet or a religious reformer nor do I belong to the Qadiani group or the Lahori group or call myself an Ahmadi.”
“Both are the same, I do not know, what was the agenda of the
people spreading such baseless news,” he said.
Regarding uproar in the house last day by the opposition parties
on Clause 203 restricting a disqualified person to lead any political
party, the minister said that it was agreed in a meeting in 2014 to
remove amendments incorporated in Political Parties Order 2000 to
block the democratic path for Benazir Bhutto and Muhammad Nawaz
Sharif.
He said minutes of the meeting showed that the opposition
supported the government on the clause.
“It is totally insane to say that the Elections Bill, 2017 has
been passed in a hurry. Members of the all parties objecting on
it were given representation in the relevant committee,” he added.
He said the Election bill 2017 was also placed on the websites of
Election Commission of Pakistan and Law and Justice.
Some 631 proposals were received from various political parties and
citizens and none was against Clause 203, he added.
The electoral reforms bill, he said, had been finalized after 118
meetings, 25 of the main parliamentary committee and 93 of its
sub-committee headed by Law Minister Zahid Hamid.
“No one had raised any objection on it and now accusing us means
the question mark on the political wisdom of opposition parties,” he
added.
The Senate body, he said, recommended 30-40 amendments but it had
also made no objection about clause 203.
The parliamentary committee has finalized the Election Bill 2017
with an amalgamation of previous eight different laws, proposing new
measures in different areas of electioneering to further empower the
ECP for holding free, fair and transparent elections in the country.
It may be mentioned that a number of initiatives have been suggested
in the new bill regarding preparation of voters’ lists, delimitations,
simplification of nomination papers, installation of surveillance
cameras, penalties of violations, women voters turnout, powers of
polling day officials, expediting disposal of election disputes, implementation of Code of Conduct and vote counting.